Congress is in session – student congress, that is. High school students filled the capitol today for their state tournament.
No, these aren’t the regular people you see sitting in the senate and house chambers, but they’re preforming the same job.
“The bill I presented today was a bill to illegalize using a transgendered person’s incorrect preferred gender pronoun in a healthcare facility,” said Fargo Davies senior Rylee Lindemann.
None of it is real.. it is all for competition, though. 179 students from 18 high schools across the state participate in Student Congress.
The associate director for the ND High School Activities Association, Brian Bubach said, “Student congress is just an amazing activity in that I sometimes refer to it as current events on steroids. Our students are very well read and very well coached and that’s apparent throughout the capitol building here today.”
It’s similar to a debate tournament. The students present bills, make arguments, and vote on the legislation. Isaac Spanjer has been competing in student congress for 5 years.
“What haven’t I learned? There’s so much about like speaking with other people, learning to have dialogue with others, how to formulate an opinion, how to present yourself, there’s so much,” said Spanjer.
Spanjer said he was once a shy kid and the program brought out the best in him. However, it did come with a few difficulties.
He added, “You’re asked questions that you have no idea what to expect. They just come at you and you have to formulate an answer and a trophy is on the line.”
The state title is what they compete for all year. Students from all over the state eventually get to know one another on a deeper level.
“Even though that we’re all competing, we’re all trying to be a state champion, we still respect and love each other in the end,” said Lindemann.
Linedemann said at the end, they even had a motion to group hug, but it didn’t end up passing.
Richardton-Taylor High School came out on top as the 2017 State Student Congress champions.