Rutgers Model Congress is different from other Model Congress simulations in that students are expected to work together to write bills on today’s most challenging issues. Rather than come to the conference with pre-written legislation, students are asked to research their assigned topics before arriving at RMC and to formulate solutions that would serve their various constituencies.
Approximately 90 days before the conference, all participating students receive a comprehensive committee brief designed to introduce their topics and serve as a foundation for further research. Students are then expected to examine the issues from the perspective of their assigned state and party.
In addition to the research that students complete on their own, participants are challenged to begin discussing the topics with their fellow students and directors through the IDIA Conference Portal. This interactive web interface provides extensive research and preparatory content to better facilitate the preparation process. Through a series of online discussions and their own research, students are required to write a 2-3 page paper detailing their positions on the assigned topics. These papers will be posted to the conference website for review by their peers, and will be reviewed and critiqued by committee directors.
The RMC program is a realistic and challenging experience for participants, staff, and advisors. Most importantly, everyone at RMC wants the Model Congress program to be as educationally valuable as possible. To facilitate this goal, the entire RMC directorate is accessible to students throughout the preparation process. Students are encouraged to contact their committee directors for help in preparing their research and debate skills. By stressing collaboration, conflict resolution, and peer review, RMC challenges students not only to debate the issues with which they are faced, but also to build their minds, develop an understanding of their own politics, and meet new friends – all of which will last them well beyond the conclusion of the conference experience.