News Item

Lander Students Participate in S.C. Student Legislature in Columbia

November 13, 2014

Thirteen Lander University students played the roles of state legislators when the South Carolina Student Legislature convened recently at the State House in Columbia. Students from all but one of the four-year colleges in the state participated in the event, which was held in the actual legislative chambers and focused on bills the students themselves drafted and brought to the floor for debate and a vote.

The Lander students are enrolled in the political science course S.C. Legislative Process, taught by assistant professor of political science Dr. Chad Kinsella. He said students were required to do their own research and draft the wording of each bill. Legislation was subjected to committee hearings to ensure they were in the proper format, including grammar and spelling; otherwise they were eliminated from consideration. Lander’s delegation submitted nine bills.

Kinsella said the four-day session is a good experience that teaches students to research and write bills and to observe the necessary parliamentary procedure for floor debates.

Senior Kimberly Modica, of Waterloo, was elected Speaker of the House for the next student legislature in the fall of 2015. Kinsella said she lobbied fellow students and gained enough support to win the position unopposed. Modica is the first Lander student to have been elected speaker.

 At the end of the session, several Lander students were nominated for awards, including Ettele Toole, of Evans, Ga., who was considered for best freshman senator.

The S.C. Student Legislature, which was founded and is run by students, is designed to provide insight into the functions of government and to provide a forum for students to take part in debate on public policy issues. According to the organization’s promotional material, the experience is meant to help participants achieve excellence in business and government.