If you enjoy being in the middle of the action and taking a leadership position, you will most likely find that being a senator is both exciting and rewarding. There are two main components to the role of a senator: preparation and participation. Your responsibilities as a senator include: (a) being knowledgeable about your subcommittee’s topic; (b) accurately portraying the views of your assigned senator; and (c) researching the witnesses who testify at your subcommittee hearing in order to ask them thoughtful and informed questions. If you are chosen to be a senator, you will need to keep in mind that your job is to represent your senator’s viewpoints, not your own personal opinions.
As you think about your role as a senator, keep in mind that you will be responsible for completing the following tasks before the Model Senate Hearing takes place:
- Attend two preparation sessions;
- Research the witnesses who will testify at your sub-committee hearing and prepare two thoughtful questions to ask each witness. Complete the Witness Questions worksheet (for your assigned subcommittee topic) and upload it to your school’s shared Google Drive folder by Wednesday, February 19 (ahead of Prep Session #2).
- Research your subcommittee’s assigned topic and complete the Investigating the Topic worksheet by Wednesday, February 19 (ahead of Prep Session #2).
- Research your assigned senator here (https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm). Contact your senator’s office to find out his or her viewpoint on the issues. If your senator does not respond, you can research his or her position on similar issues and then infer what his or her viewpoint on these issues would likely be; and
- Produce a draft resolution and bring it to Prep Session #2 (due Wednesday, February 19).
All Senators will be paired with a Senator's Aide from their own school to help prepare for the program, including drawing up lines of questioning, speeches and background research.
As a senator, you will be responsible for completing the following tasks at the Model Senate Hearing
- Bring your proposed resolution and Investigating the Topic worksheet to the morning session.
- Listen attentively to the witness testimonies and take notes.
- Ask each witness at least one question, time permitting.
- Work with your fellow subcommittee members to create a single draft resolution based upon witness testimony and everyone’s ideas.
- Work with fellow senators to amend the draft resolution.
- Vote “yea” or “nay” on draft resolution.
- Listen to presentations of final proposed resolutions from all three subcommittees and vote on resolutions.