AIC’s 83rd Model Congress returns in-person, honoring late top delegate’s legacy

Students compete for the chance to earn scholarship money while learning how laws are approved.
Published: Apr. 1, 2023 at 10:34 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 2, 2023 at 10:23 AM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Emerging leaders are getting the chance to put policies into practice as American International College hosts the 83rd Annual Model Congress this week.

Students compete for the chance to earn scholarship money while learning how laws are approved.

The 83rd Annual Model Congress at American International College returns in person this year, a first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the longest running simulated congress of its type in the country.

At the end of the event, the winner of the competition will receive a full scholarship to the college, something that hits home for Mariah Mauke. The full four-year tuition scholarship was named in memory of Mariah’s sister, Kathryn Mauke, the top delegate at the 74th Model Congress in 2015.

“My sister was the best at model congress,” Mauke told us. “She had a fire, she had passion, she fought for anything she believed in, and that’s one of the reasons they named the first place award after her when she passed away, because we want the people who win this conference to embody what she did.”

During the event, delegates from each of the participating schools carefully craft bills and amendments that they would want to see passed in Congress.

“They pass bills relating to equalizing healthcare for all different genders, legalizing marijuana for federal purposes, they talk about the pink tax,” Mauke explained.

Like many of her colleagues, Mauke started as a delegate when she was in high school and worked her way up to joining the committee as an advisor. She told Western Mass News that it is important to get involved in politics at a young age to understand exactly what Congress should be doing.

“Speak up for what you feel is right and don’t be afraid to use your voice, and that’s really what this event is all about,” she said.

AIC’s Vice President of Student Affairs Matthew Scott said that student delegates always bring passion to the topics they are discussing, something Congress could take note of.

“Our students that come here are very respectful, they listen to each other’s arguments,” Scott said. “Sometimes, we have students who end up arguing for a bill or a side of a bill that maybe they don’t personally believe in.”

Mauke told Western Mass News that she is thankful that delegates are able to receive the award in her sister’s honor.

“I think it’s really important that she is a part of this legacy, carrying on for students in the future,” she said.

For details on the event or how students can participate, click HERE.