Model Congress prepares for its 80th conference this January


Mariah Mauke at the 79th Model Congress in which she was Co-Legislative Chairperson (Photo by Samantha Schieppe)

Rose McCaffrey, Staff Writer

Mariah Mauke, a junior majoring in political science, is the face of AIC’s Model Congress Organization, as Legislative Chairperson of the 80th Model Congress. This year’s conference is being held on campus from January 9-11, 2020.

As well as being the Legislative Chairperson, Mauke is also a double minor in biology and communication, and serves as the Treasurer of the Student Government Association. Mauke has been involved in Model Congress since her freshman year of high school, debating with SABIS International Charter School, in Springfield, MA.

“Model Congress is held on campus here annually and is held for high school students who have an interest in politics,” said Mauke. “These students write legislation as if they were congresspeople themselves and come to AIC in January. They compete to win scholarships to the school based off how well they do.”

“That role really is the role that trains all the staff, and makes sure the conference is running smoothly. She really is the face of the conference,” Dean of Students, Matthew Scott said, who advises the program. “That’s the person that looks through all the legislation, makes sure it is formatted correctly, develops the entire legislative packet, puts together the legislation that goes out to the schools, and also puts together the procedural manual.”

When asked about her favorite part about Model Congress, Mauke responded that it “is seeing everyone’s different viewpoint and respect for the legislative process. It is really nice to see all these kids who are interested in changing the world come together and present their ideas and what they would like to see happen in their ideal world.”

The student life advisor of this program is Dean of Students Matthew Scott. When asked about the program, Scott said, “I remember the first time I saw it. I walked into the House and Senate. I was just there to help; I was not the advisor. I was like, holy cow!”

Rose McCaffrey
Pictured here is Dean of Students, Matthew Scott and Mariah Mauke, Legislative Chairperson of the 80th Model Congress.

Mauke commented, “My favorite moment of Model Congress is when I became Legislative Chairperson. I never dreamed in all my four years of high school that I would be running the program. It is so amazing.”

If you are looking to learn more about the program, Mauke said, “Just reach out and show that you are interested in learning about what actually happens at the conference. We have informational sessions coming up. Just come and see if it is for you. We have something for everyone.”

Mauke may be the Legislative Chairperson, but she acknowledges that the conferece requires a lot of work from others as well. “Hannah is the Operations Chairperson,” said Mauke. “She is mainly in charge of getting the conference in order. With Matt’s assistance, she gets the catering done, the t-shirts done, she organizes the events, and she basically runs the conference behind the scenes.

Rose is the Assistant to the Legislative Chairperson, much as Dwight is the assistant to the regional manager in the office…. We, this year, are going to have an Operations team. [Hannah] is going to have two people working with her to help her with her tasks,” said Mauke.

Mauke also acknowledged the support provided by the student life advisor: “We literally could not do anything without Matt. Everything that Hannah and I do, Matt is helping us every step of the way,” said Mauke.

All in all, it seems as if the Model Congress team is ready and excited for the preparation that comes with this 80th conference.

“Every time we have ‘the tens,’ we try to make it very special,” said Scott. “I’m excited about the potential. I am not giving up anything yet of what our keynote situation is going to be. Of course, it is the eightieth, but it also is a presidential election year. This will be happening January 2020, right before some of the primaries, so I think there will be a heightened awareness of what is going on, because people tend to pay more attention to the news,” said Scott.