At the 2018 Harvard Model Congress, Olis stood out from the pack in a classic forum for teamwork, public speaking, and critical thinking.
From February 22 to 25 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, high school students from around the country gathered for the 2018 Harvard Model Congress (HMC) to experience the inner workings of American constitutional government. Founded in 1986, HMC challenges students to exercise their leadership, problem-solving, and cooperative skills to shape bipartisan legislation, debate on behalf of their assigned party, and ensure the smooth functioning of a simulated collaborative body.
This year, Oliverian sent seven students to Boston to participate in the conference. While our Olis entered the Congress with a few jitters, they left the most decorated of any delegation we’ve entered into HMC.
At the 33rd annual Model Congress, six Olis received roles as US Senators and one was appointed as a special committee member to the West Wing.
Sabrina and Ashton were members of the Finance and Armed Services committees, respectively. Working overtime to be a useful part of her committee, Sabrina studied key topics in her spare time and participated constructively during informal caucuses. Even though Ashton was the youngest member of our delegation, he was very excited by the process in general. As the only underclassman, he was talking excitedly about attending next year’s HMC.
Lila took to her role on the Health Education Labor and Pensions committee as if she were born to wheel and deal in the halls of Congress. She masterfully debated and defended three bills she co-authored before her committee. Lila displayed an incredible bipartisan spirit, working with delegates from across the aisle in order to shepherd bills over legislative hurdles. Her final team guided the Special Education Equality Decree bill through the Senate and the House, which was eventually signed into law!
Jonathan and Audrey served together on the Banking, Housing, and Urban Development committee. Jon contributed often during committee debates, trying to maintain efficiency and eliminate needless amendments. His hard work even led to the passage of a bill in a down-to-the-wire vote that ended with seconds to spare. Audrey masterfully argued bill after bill in her committee. By the end of the conference, she was grilling delegates in front of a full session of the Senate. For her contributions, Audrey won the Honorable Mention Award for her committee.
Eli was a true overachiever in her special program as a member of the Republican National Committee. She distinguished herself in the role of a conservative Republican, creating advertising posters for the RNC election campaigns, drafting slogans, and debating the DNC in a public forum. During the Model Congress, the RNC and DNC were pitted against each other in a conference-long contest which the RNC won — in no small part due to Eli’s contributions. Eli also received an Honorable Mention Award for her work.
Taran, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, was an inspired participant during HMC. He dove in with passion, embracing his Senatorial duties and taking the issues before the committee to heart. He also participated in a new activity this year — “Battle for the Senate” — a Town Hall set up for candidates ahead of mock November midterm elections. There, Taran argued on behalf of GOP candidates, contributing to his Honorable Mention Award for his efforts over the weekend.
Our entire delegation should be commended for their efforts. They took their responsibilities seriously and gleaned powerful, practical insights into the nature of American government. Washington itself could learn quite a bit by these young people’s example.