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Hudson Student Travels to DC for Model House of Reps

By Meghan Dusek
UW-River Falls University Communications

OCT. 23, 2006--University of Wisconsin-River Falls student Jane Norman of Hudson, Wis., traveled to Washington, D.C. during spring semester 2006 to participate in the first ever U.S. Model House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol complex, within the halls of Congress.

Norman, a broad area social sciences and education major with a minor in international studies, heard about the opportunity sponsored by the American Youth Scholarship Foundation in a class taught by UWRF Professor Davida Alperin. From there Norman took the initiative to go to Washington. "It's good to step out of your comfort zone every once and a while," Norman says, "and expand your perimeters."

Each attending student represented one district and was then placed on committees prior to coming to Washington, D.C. to propose and write bills for their mock legislature. Once in Washington, the students were coached in parliamentary procedure by the same person who works with incoming legislators, worked in their respective committees in the congressional chambers and debated for their bills on the actual floor.

"We went through the process in the same space as the actual representatives," Norman says. "It was a great environment to develop persuasive speaking skills."

The students were privy to the 'inside the beltway' culture. "It was interesting to see Washington in action--the political nucleus of the country," Norman enthuses, describing the cavalcade around the visiting president of China, protestors outside the White House, and numerous field trips to Washington sights as well as seminars and lectures given by speakers from the State Department, the Treasury, and other ranking officials.

Professor Alperin described Norman's enthusiasm for the experience as "infectious." She said, "I have heard at least one student say they planned to apply based on hearing Jane talk about her experiences. Jane is a great student--intellectually curious, and well-organized--and was the perfect student to represent UWRF and Wisconsin."  

Founded in 2002, the American Youth Scholarship Foundation is a nonprofit organization established for the betterment of community through assistance in educational pursuits. The U.S. Model House of Representatives Program is a nationwide civic engagement and leadership program for college students who are active in their communities. 

Registration is now available online for the next model session, May 28-June 2, 2007. For more information see .


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:07:41 Central Daylight Time


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