Bills that pass through Committee are eligible to be heard at the Full Session. The Speaker of the House determines the order of the bills and the time allotted to each. All student legislators attend the full session, participate in the bill debate, and vote.
The Legislative Semester provides students with the chance to deeply engage in the legislative process through experiences that start in the classroom and build in scale and scope up to a Full Legislative Session. Throughout the semester students explore their own political identity through authentic discussion of current, controversial political issues using parliamentary procedure. They then work to research and write bills on topics of their choosing and attempt to pass those bills through Committees and on to the Full Session. Student Leadership is woven into every aspect of the course. Follow the links below to explore the six major phases of the curriculum.
From the very first day of the semester, each class is conducted using an agenda and parliamentary procedure. Students are addressed by last name, in accordance with the formality of a legislature.
During the first weeks of the semester students spend time in class exploring their political identities through deliberation of controversial issues. This culminates in the Party Declaration Day, where all students place themselves on the political spectrum.
Once the membership of the Democrat and Republican parties is established, students interested in party leadership positions campaign for office. On Election Day all students in the program have the opportunity to vote for the leaders of their party.
All students must identify a public policy issue about which there should be a change. After a process of lobbying and discussion, students form themselves into small groups which research and write bills on their chosen issue.
Committees are formed, comprised of a mix of students from different government sections. All bills are assigned to a committee. On Committee Hearing Day, student committee chairs preside over the discussion and amendment of each bill.