Stetson University offers first Model U.S. Senate program

High school students who wish to launch careers in politics may benefit from enrolling at Stetson University in Florida, as it offers the nation's first and oldest college-level Model U.S. Senate program. According to the Floyd M. Riddick Model U.S. Senate official website, the program was designed to reproduce the actual procedures and activities of the U.S. Senate in an effort to provide experience and education for the students.

The initiative was formed in 1970, when a student at Stetson proposed a Model U.S. Congress that would be similar to the existing Model UN program. The school then hosted the first Model U.S. Senate in the country. The program is named after U.S. Senate Parliamentarian Floyd Millard Riddick, who attended the proceedings every year until his health prevented him from traveling.

Since then, dignitaries and national leaders have attended the program, such as former Florida governor Lawton Chiles, U.S. Representatives John L. Mica and E. Clay Shaw, U.S. Senators Joseph Biden, William Bradley, Robert Byrd, Thad Cochran, Wyche Fowler, Albert Gore Sr., Nancy Kassebaum, Charles Mathias, John Melcher and Paul Sarbanes as well as Stetson alumnus Max Cleland.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Senators and Representatives can earn an average of $174,000 per year. 

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