An unofficial club has formed at Diamond Bar High School that revolves around governmental practices, including writing bills and discussions of the committees of the U.S. Congress.
“Model Congress is a club that aims to teach students about government procedures such as writing bills and other parliamentary matters,” sophomore club publicist Kylie Lam.
Lam said that Model Congress is distinct from other clubs as it covers a variety of different topics.
“We decided to start Model Congress because it is a fantastic way for students to discuss congressional committee topics and government,” Lam said. “ It is also a way to enhance their public speaking with many opportunities at the same time.”
She went more in depth, explaining a member might study a unique congressional topic of their choosing.
“We have different congressional topics that each member chooses for themselves. (foreign affairs, presidential cabinet etc),” she said. “We may potentially go over how to write a bill to prepare for the San Francisco Competition (which will not be hosted this year); we also do group research prior to meetings to contribute to bill writing.”
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has had some negative effects on the club. Since Model Congress was established just this year, there have been various obstacles for the club and its members as they’re not allowed to meet up in person for any activities or discussions.
“Unfortunately with the pandemic still at a crucial high, we have not planned to meet up for our safety,” Lam said. “Hopefully when the school reopens again, we will be able to have our monthly delegation meetings where we will be able to prepare our students for their roles.”
Despite these challenges, the club officers are trying to adjust to the conditions and still find a way to communicate with the members.
“We have met up a couple of times on Zoom where we briefly went over the information,” Lam said. “We were also able to hold our first meeting with our students and gave them a sneak peek of what our club has set up for them.”
They also still have goals for the club this year even through online meetings, although they are rather unstable due to the coronavirus. The club officers stated they would still try their best to teach material during the pandemic.
“So far we have been continuing to find more opportunities for our students to participate in public speaking,” Lam said. “Meanwhile, we are also strengthening our knowledge on current topics we have discussed and sharing ideas among each other.”
These opportunities she mentioned seemed to revolve mostly around current important topics.
“During meetings, we work in groups to discuss the latest news of that specific topic,” she said. “For example, if our topic is foreign affairs, we would each brainstorm ideas that could potentially be used as an argument during conferences.”
Lam ended her introduction by expressing that the club is open at all times to any students that are interested.
“We are excited to have more students join our unique club,” Lam said. “Model Congress gives you a hands on experience of what it’s like at government conferences. You will be able to learn how to write bills, train for competitive events, and also study the procedures of debating.”