HC hosts Model Congress with Senator Mark Kirk

On Sunday, Oct. 30, Hinsdale Central hosted a student Model Congress sponsored by Senator Mark Kirk. The event allowed students to see how the legislative branch works. “It puts into practice everything we’ve learned in class,” said Ms. Jessica Hurt, Social Studies department chair and AP Government teacher. “The students get to see how things really work.” At the end of the event, Kirk reminded the students how realistic their model congress was compared to the real one. “This is as close to the Senate as you can get without being elected,” Kirk said.

Kirk said the program “provides a unique opportunity for students with their US senator to see how their real legislature operates.” Like the real senate, the student participants were divided into parties and committees. They tried to pass legislation but in the process had to do a lot of negotiating.

Gen Cater served as the senate majority leader. “I enjoyed the floor debates, hearing different opinions in terms of your own opinions,” she said. “This gave me a really hands-on experience with politics to see how things really run.”

Kirk felt it was important to sponsor the event because “it puts you into touch with some of the brightest kids who are interested in the subject.” Another future opportunity for the participants is to visit Mark Kirk. “Besides the benefits of meeting the other kids, he gave them a personal invitation to meet him in Washington,” Hurt said. Hurt hopes that Hinsdale Central will have the opportunity to host the annual model congress again next year.