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RM Model Congress wins big at UMD Conference

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RM Model Congress wins big at UMD Conference

Several delegates in RM's Model Congress team won awards at UMDMC.

Several delegates in RM's Model Congress team won awards at UMDMC.

Photo courtesy of RMHS Model Congress

Several delegates in RM's Model Congress team won awards at UMDMC.

Photo courtesy of RMHS Model Congress

Photo courtesy of RMHS Model Congress

Several delegates in RM's Model Congress team won awards at UMDMC.

Dina Garmroudi, News Writer

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On December 1, the University of Maryland held their fourth annual Model Congress conference (UMDMC). Students from schools across Maryland attended to compete in mock committees, propose bills they had written beforehand, and debate with other delegates using parliamentary procedure.

UMDMC is relatively small compared to the other conferences RM students attend, such as Columbia Model Congress, where delegates come from across the entire United States. “It’s one of my favorite conferences because of the small committee sizes,” junior Lambia Katsigiannakis said. “They encourage everyone to speak which helps stimulate debate.”

This year, the organizers of the conference altered their awards so that instead of awarding one honorable mention, one outstanding delegate, and one best delegate, they awarded two honorable mentions and one best delegate award for each committee.

Several RM students won awards. Freshman Kalina Sloat received an honorable mention in the Judiciary committee, junior Isabelle Young received an honorable mention from the Homeland Security Meeting, and junior Dina Garmroudi received an honorable mention from the Environment and Public Works committee.

In addition, junior Kevin Morales received best delegate in the Armed Services committee, junior Lydia Levy received best delegate in the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, and junior Camber Vincent received best delegate in the Executive Branch. Junior Lambia Katsigiannakis received best delegate in the Supreme Court and Full Senate Committee.

Along with the changes made to awards, the coordinators of UMDMC implemented a Full Senate and Full House committee, combining the Supreme Court with the Full Senate and the Executive Branch with the Full House. In past years, the conference had a shorter session comprised of all delegates, no matter which branch of Congress they had sat in. Furthermore, the Supreme Court was a new addition to the list of other committees this year. “I was in the Supreme Court which was a new one and it was structured really well which surprised me considering it was they first time they had tried it,” Katsigiannakis said.

In the Full Senate Committee, the conference made some exceptions for a bill that was introduced, citing that the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional but that delegates would still get the chance to debate on it. The bill involved the federal government in education, which is known to be left mostly up to the states. This sparked controversy as it infringed upon the system of checks and balances, but ultimately students were able to engage in constructive debate.

Although UMDMC only spanned from the morning to the afternoon, students were still able to introduce and debate a multitude of bills in their smaller committees. “Model Congress is a great way to improve debating skills,” Vincent said. “It is a lot of fun to go in and meet new people from around Maryland and sometimes the country and spend time debating bills on many topics.”

The University of Maryland will hold another conference in the spring, one that RM students are planning to attend. “I think the biggest takeaway from the conference was the fact that not everyone sees the world the same way,” sophomore Nick Asante said. “Improving my public speaking and presentation skills were also a plus.”

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RM Model Congress wins big at UMD Conference