There are many good reasons to participate in Student Congress. One of the best reasons is to become a better speaker. No matter what type of career you intend to pursue in life, the ability to speak well is always a great asset. People often say that public speaking is their greatest fear and certainly speaking in front of others can be intimidating. Student Congress provides you with the opportunity to overcome this fear and master a skill that will help you be successful in life.

Another worthwhile reason to participate in Student Congress is to become a better writer. Being a good speaker is important, but being a good writer is even more important. No matter what college you attend and no matter what sort of job you have later in life, being able to write well is absolutely critical. This maxim holds true across a wide range of professions. Whether you become a lawyer, businessman, college professor, government official, or politician, being able to express your ideas, vision, and point of view is very important. You may have the most wonderful ideas in the world, but if you cannot express them, then they will fail to have constructive impact.

An additional reason to join Student Congress is to meet new people. Many surveys and studies conducted by researchers and psychologists concerning happiness and satisfaction in school discover that the happiest and most comfortable students are not always the smartest, most athletic, or wealthiest. Instead, they are the students who feel a sense of connection. They are the students who participate in school activities and develop friendships with other students. This, in fact, is what life is all about. It is about developing a sense of connection with other people. As Aristotle points out, "a happy man needs friends."

A fourth motivation for doing Student congress is the opportunity to argue and articulate your point of view. Many students have opinions on such issues as immigration, taxes, war, capital punishment, and the environment. However, not every student has the opportunity to express their point of view in a forum with others. It is one thing to talk about current events at lunch with friends or at home with your family. But it can be a lot more fun to go to battle in a war of ideas with other students who feel as passionate about their ideas as you do.

Finally, participating in Student Congress is worthwhile because it will broaden your horizons and understanding of the world. Many people have a superficial understanding of important events and public policies. Participating in Student Congress, forces you to expand your view of the world. This is particularly true because Student Congress requires research, analysis, and reflection. You must be able to justify and defend your ideas against those who oppose them. For example, it is not enough just to assert that the United States should adopt a flat tax, you must be able to logically and convincingly articulate why a flat tax is good for the country. Additionally, Student Congress compels you to research, grasp, and come to a decision on topics and policies that may be unfamiliar to you. Student Congress expands your view of the world.

-Excerpt from WACFL Student Congress Manual, 2005-2006

Coach Shepherd
Student Congress