Student Congress: another successful season

Callie Frank, Columnist

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Student Congress, an intellectual competition with a government theme, has concluded for the year (spare a national tournament that takes place in June, however, no one from Fargo North High School will be participating in that, even though Senior Isaac Spanjer qualified). North as a whole placed 5th in state, a victory for the school as it surpassed last year’s score.

The scoring to qualify is based on speeches. There are “resolutions” that students propose, and they get points based on how good their speeches supporting or opposing the resolutions are. These scores determine the ranking a student has in their division (of which there are 7: Senate, House 1, House 2, House 3, etc.). The total of the rankings will determine the team (or school’s) score.

It should also be noted that these rankings are equal within divisions. First place in Senate is an equivalent score for the team as first place in House 6. This creates an equality in the groups, and ensures that everyone feels they can be competitive and have a chance of succeeding.

Oftentimes, because of that structure, schools will place their students in various categories based on seniority and general experience with activities like this. Fargo North’s placements in the Congress are as follows: in House I, Sofia Flores placed first, in House II, Lydia Kennelly placed third and Erica Flores placed fifth, and in House VI, Sanjay Rajamohan placed placed third.

Student Congress also incorporates an element of leadership, as each division elects a presiding student officer who is in charge of managing and running the congress. Fargo North had Isaac Spanjer represent as the presiding officer of the Senate, and had Coach Clover Ellingson was elected by her fellow North Dakotan coaches as Student Congress Coach of the Year, a huge honor for the seasoned coach.

A common Student Congress meeting involves students proposing made-up laws and resolutions of their choice (those these resolutions get sorted in four categories: State and Local, Public Welfare, Foreign Affairs, and Ways and Means), and then debating on past ones with speeches that get graded. Participants of Student Congress tend to be in debate and speech because of this arguing and speaking portion, as all three activities complement each other and work with the same skills.

Overall, Fargo North has had a good year in Student Congress, and has done better than it typically does. Looking to the future, this will hopefully reflect in the students’ Speech and Debate tournaments, which could make this year a particularly successful one for intellectual competitions.

 

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Student Congress: another successful season