STRAIGHT FROM THE SENATE

DAVID LONGSERVING AS PAGES HELPS BRING STATE GOVERNMENT TO LIFE FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

Area middle and high school students are encouraged to make the Indiana Statehouse their “classroom for a day” by serving as Senate pages during the 2011 Indiana General Assembly.

Pages have the opportunity to spend a day at the Statehouse working with their senator and Senate staff in the upcoming legislative session, which runs from Wednesday, Jan. 5, to Friday, April 29.

Students who page learn about the legislative process through observation and participation. Interacting firsthand with legislators and staff, state government is brought to life for pages who get to see lawmakers introduce bills, debate and vote on important issues, all while meeting other students from across Indiana.

Interested students in grades 6 through 12 should submit page requests in a letter or e-mail. The student’s name – as it would appear on a certificate – address, home telephone number, age and school affiliation should 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’s page office will confirm the scheduled date after processing incoming requests.

Pages who serve on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays will have the opportunity to work on the Senate floor as members convene for session. Those who page on Wednesdays will see their lawmakers discuss and debate legislation in committees. Generally, no legislative pages are scheduled for Fridays.

Officials with the Senate’s page office will confirm the scheduled date after processing incoming requests.

To be a page, send e-mail requests to Senator.Long@iga.in.gov or send by U.S. Mail to:

State Sen. David Long

Indiana Senate

200 W. Washington St.

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Participating as a page is an excused absence from school. Pages must arrive at the Statehouse by 8:30 a.m. to begin their day in orientation. They then tour the historic Statehouse and observe proceedings in either committee rooms or the Senate Chamber.

Parents are responsible for transportation and student pages provide their own lunches, which can be economically priced at the Government Center Cafeteria, Circle Centre Mall or one of the many downtown restaurants.

A student’s page experience may spark an interest in the Indiana legislative process that can last a lifetime. There are even a few legislators in this building who can remember really becoming inspired to be in the Indiana General Assembly after serving as pages in their youth

According to Senate Page Director Mary Linda Hays, the popular program annually receives about 1,200 requests, but has peaked to as high as 1,600 in some years.

Perhaps the best part of the page program is the connection that’s made between our state government and our future. Our government will only remain strong if the ideals and principles it is built on are instilled in the next generation. The Senate Page Program helps us push toward that goal.

For additional information, visit www.in.gov/senator.long or call 1-800-382-9467.

 

David Long - IN Dist. 16 Senator

David is a former Republican member of the Indiana State Senate representing the 16th district which encompasses Waynedale. He served as the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana State Senate. David writes the "Straight From The Senate" column for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer