Dear Delegates, Advisers, and Guests,
On behalf of the Institute for Domestic and International Affairs, it is my pleasure to invite you to attend Rutgers Model Congress 2013. The conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Brunswick, New Jersey from April 18th to 21st. RMC is a unique educational experience that simulates the United States Congress. Over the course of four days, students will debate, discuss, and write about a variety of domestic and foreign policy issues facing the country today. Each student will take on the role of a member of Congress or other important political actor in one of our innovative and exciting committees. Delegates at the conference will be able to choose from House, Senate, and Advanced committees that aim to simulate their real-life counterparts. At the end of the weekend, each participant will leave with important communication, teamwork, and research skills as well as an impressive knowledge of public affairs. At IDIA, we hope that students take these skills and use them to enhance their professional and personal lives while making a meaningful impact on the world.
The IDIA staff works to create informative, educational, and fun experiences at each of its conferences. Preparation for RMC 2013 is a year-long process and we are proud to showcase a staff that is exceptionally diverse, dedicated, and professional. Our Directors are trained to write quality policy briefs by enrolling in a course component, and they are happy to answer students’ questions both before and during the conference. Every member of our staff is committed to providing students with a wonderful educational opportunity and leaving them with a memorable conference experience
Each IDIA conference features a thematic focus. This year, RMC 2013 will be exploring the idea of “Constitutionalism in the Information Age.” Constitutionalism is the idea that a government simultaneously derives all of its power from and yet is limited by a fundamental body of law. Americans have consistently grappled with the purpose and scope of governmental authority. From time to time, a generation of Americans has been forced to radically redefine the meaning of Constitutionalism as new challenges arose. At our nation’s founding, the Framers of the Constitution put in place a system of government that pioneered large scale democracy and charged the government with crafting national policy and protecting individual rights. During the 19th century the country fought a bloody Civil War over the injustice of slavery and in the aftermath strengthened the sense of nationhood in American governance. During the 1930s the government responded the Great Depression with a massive restructuring of government spending, services, and welfare. During the 1960s the federal government acted to defend the rights of all Americans regardless of race, creed, or gender. By the end of the 20th century it became clear that the role of the government in American life transformed in ways that the Framers could not have envisioned.
Bringing Constitutionalism into the modern day, RMC 2013 will examine the ways in which the United States and the world have changed because of the onset of the “Information Age.” The Information Age is characterized by technological innovation that has revolutionized the way we communicate and interact with one another. More unique information has been produced in the past five years than in the previous five-thousand and experts estimate that a week’s worth of New York Times articles contain more information than a person was likely to encounter in an entire lifetime during the 18th century. Technology has enabled instant communication and networking through the Internet and social media. It has also permitted the growth of new industries and spurred on economic development. However, the Information Age has given rise to new challenges regarding cyber-security, digital copyrights, and a variety of other issues. Throughout the conference students and staff will engage Constitutionalism in the Information Age as they answer the fundamental question of what the role of government should be given this technological revolution.
Students at RMC 2013 have a unique opportunity in that they are part of a generation that once again has the opportunity to redefine Constitutionalism. The Information Age presents one of the greatest constitutional crises in American history, and our committees and topics provide a fresh and modern take on the challenges of American governance. In the Historic Constitutional Convention students will explore the philosophical and historical foundations of the theme. The National Security Agency will allow students to delve into the secret world of cryptographic intelligence and learn about technology’s potential for enhancing our national security while at the same time endangering our civil liberties. Domestically, the House committee on Science, Space, and Technology will explore the possibility of bringing Internet access to all Americans. Looking abroad, the Senate committee on Foreign Relations will discuss the President’s use of cyber warfare against the Islamic Republic of Iran and other international threats. These examples represent only a small sample of the diverse issues that we will be exploring. You can look forward to a breadth of topics that are in many ways brand new and unique to the conference’s thematic focus!
RMC 2013 will be one of IDIA’s most exciting, innovative, and educationally relevant conferences to date. The staff is striving to create the best conference experience possible and is looking forward to helping you in every way we can!
Registration for RMC 2013 will be open on December 1st, 2012. Because of limited capacity, I urge you to claim your spots early! If you have any questions about the conference, the registration process, or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our staff members are available through e-mail and on the website. We also host outreach programs in which we send experienced staff members to your schools to help students prepare for the conference. Thank you for your interest in RMC 2013. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Aniket Kesari Executive Director Rutgers Model Congress 2013 Aniket.Kesari@idia.net