Student senators explore process


Kirk Murphy

Members of the West Shore Model Student Senate team included Hannah Montgomery, Rachel Montgomery and Geoffrey Garrido. Back row: Ashley Norris, Ana Rosal, Molly Redito, Gianni Valenti, Sergio Carlos and Nicole Conde.

Students from throughout Brevard County met Wednesday to act out congressional roles for Model Student Senate, an event that simulates the United States’ legislative process. During the plenary session, participants took on the personas of current U.S. Senators and worked through the process of passing bills into law.

About four months ago, students chose bills their senators sponsored, annotated them and then sent them into the competition for evaluation. As a result, sophomore Gianni Valenti was selected as a Democratic congressman.

“I portrayed Sen. Jeff Merkely of Oregon, and I actually did pretty well for my second year in the program,” Valenti said. “I chose the “Equality Act” which makes it so it is illegal to discriminate against races, genders and sexual orientation in public places.”

Fellow sophomore Molly Redito chose a more conservative senator.

“My senator was James Inhofe who is a Republican from Oklahoma,” Redito said. “My bill was to increase the security of military personnel on military bases. My bill did pass, but there wasn’t enough time to debate and vote on the bill.”

Redito’s bill didn’t it to the floor to present, but Valenti’s did. Valenti presented his bill in front of the rest of the student senators.

“I wrote my speech which included a quote from Macklemore’s song ‘Same Love,’” Valenti said. “I was able to convince a bunch of Republicans — or as I like to say, women haters — to vote for equality. It was such an amazing moment because last year I didn’t say anything on the floor and this year my bill passed. All in all, I had an amazing experience and I’m already preparing my speech for party representation for the Democrats next year.”

By Sarah Edmiston