Student-run Model Congress in session Friday

Founded in 1940

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – American International College is hosting high school students from across the Northeast this weekend who are participating in the 77th annual Model Congress. It was founded in 1940 and is the longest running congress of its type in the nation.

The simulated congress meets every year at AIC, where students from more than a dozen high schools write, debate and pass legislation. These students strictly follow the rules governing debate and passage.

Some of the mock legislation that they’re debating could be considered controversial. “The most controversial is the bill that is going to legalize brothels,” Student Adviser Rebecca Gray told 22News.

At its conclusion, the congress’ top delegates are awarded scholarships. Schools that submit the “most outstanding” legislation and demonstrate the highest level of participation and enthusiasm are also awarded, according to an AIC news release. Congressman Richard Neal will address the students on Saturday as the session wraps up.

The 13 schools participating this year include Agawam High School, East Longmeadow High School, Chatham High School, Minnechaug Regional High School,Mohawk Trail Regional High School, Pioneer Valley Regional High School, Pope Francis High School, Poultney High School, SABIS International Charter School, Southwick Regional School, Kingswood Regional High School, St. Joseph Central High School and East Windsor High School.