By Hilary Lawch
Hood’s chapter of the Maryland Student Legislature (MSL) hosted an event on campus during the weekend of Nov. 18.
The event, which included McDaniel College, St. Mary’s College, University of Maryland Baltimore County and University of Maryland College Park, was MSL’s Fall Interim Assembly, during which students simulated the Maryland legislative process by debating and voting on 10 resolutions and 11 acts written by MSL members.
“I hope that this attracts more attention from other colleges in the area,” senior Melissa Joseph said before the assembly. “I hope it helps us expand. It’s good to know Hood can share with other delegations.”
MSL is a nonprofit organization that gathers college students in the state together to simulate the political and legislative process. It is not affliated with any political parties.
The proposed pieces of legislation, which included same-sex marriage and recycling initiatives, are compiled and sent to the Maryland State Legislature if passed by the MSL body.
“The act that I wrote was based on a recent law that passed in California which makes the malicious impersonation of an individual via a social media outlet or email a misdemeanor offense,” senior Kristina Southwell said. “All the acts and resolutions were debated using formal parliamentary procedures based on Robert’s Rules of Order.”
Maryland State Senator Ron Young was the keynote speaker on Saturday, and he spoke about his experiences in politics and took questions from MSL members about current events.
Jonathan Holtzman, a freshman from St. Mary’s College, said that he found Young’s speech compelling.
“I was incredibly impressed,” Holtzman said. “He was someone who expressed his points of view in an articulate manner.”
“[Senator] Young was very engaging, funny, and good natured as a speaker,” Southwell said. “He was encouraging and supportive of MSL as an organization and our interest in politics and policy making.”
Hood’s chapter of MSL is run by students and offers a credit in the spring semester. Members participate in three assemblies each year, in which they sponsor and debate proposed legislative measures using governmental rules and procedures.
There is one annual session in the House and Senate chambers in Annapolis in the spring, where awards are presented to various schools and individuals.
Last year, Hood took the award for Most Outstanding Delegation, and a number of Hood students won awards for their work in certain positions.
All of the students at this year’s event agreed that MSL has been beneficial to them as students and members of society, regardless of their areas of study and whether or not they apply to law.
Freshman Kristen Geatz said, “It’s nice that people from other schools who haven’t had the opportunity to see Hood get to be in the Frederick area.”
Catherine Collins contributed reporting.