Indiana’s legislative process is perhaps best understood through observation and participation. That’s why I’d like to encourage area students to serve as pages during the upcoming session of the Indiana General Assembly.
I invite all interested students in grades 6-12 to take advantage of this opportunity at the Statehouse to learn how state government operates, interact firsthand with legislators and meet other students from across Indiana. Through this valuable program, students not only have fun, but, live and learn government.
During the legislative session, pages spend one day at the Statehouse working with their senator and Senate staff. Student pages begin the day with orientation at 8:30 a.m., followed by a tour of the historic Statehouse.
Throughout the day, pages spend time in the Senate Chamber observing the introduction of bills and resolutions, listening to debates and delivering messages to senators and staff.
Participating as a page is an excused absence from school. Page must arrive at the Statehouse by 8:30 a.m. Parents are responsible for transportation and student pages should bring money for their own lunches, which can be economically purchased at the Government Center Cafeteria, Circle Centre Mall or one of the many downtown restaurants. Students 16 years of age and older may sign themselves out for lunch. Pages 15 years and younger may be signed out for lunch by a parent or guardian (a number of restaurants and cafeterias are accessible via underground tunnel, thus not requiring pages to cross downtown Indianapolis streets).
After lunch, pages are guided to the Senate chamber for the 1:30 p.m. floor session. While on the Senate floor, pages assist senators with errands and have their photo taken with the senator for whom they are paging. Pages are dismissed for the day at 3:30 p.m.
The 2009 legislative session is quickly approaching. This year’s session – considered a “long” session because it is a budget year – will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 7, and run through the end of April. Interested students should submit page requests in a letter or e-mail right away. The student’s name – as it would appear on a certificate – address, home telephone number, age and school affiliation need to be included with the request.
Friends wanting to page on the same day should send requests together. Specific date requests will be considered, but may not be possible. The Senate Page Office will confirm the scheduled date after processing incoming requests.
If you are interested in being a page e-mail requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send by U.S. Mail to:
Sen. David Long
200 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The number of pages per day is limited; therefore, students are urged to write their senator early to request a page assignment. When the letter is processed, the student will receive confirmation of his or her scheduled date to serve.
For additional information, call 1-800-382-9467.
Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is President Pro Tem of the Indiana Senate. He serves District 16, which includes portions of Fort Wayne.
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