Troy University to play host to district "We the People" competition

Posted: Monday, 28 November 2011

TROY – More than 200 sixth through 12th grade students will visit Troy University on Tuesday to take part in district "We the People" simulated congressional hearings competition.

The simulated congressional hearings are a part of the national civics education program, "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution." The program's goal is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation's elementary and secondary students. Since its inception in 1987, more than 30 million students and 90,000 educators nationwide have participated in the course of study.

Dr. Ruth Busby, assistant professor in TROY's College of Education and coordinator for Alabama second district competition, said this is the second year the University has served as host site for the district competition.

"The districts correspond with the state's Congressional districts," Dr. Busby said. "We are very pleased to host this competition for a second year and the feedback I get from the students is very positive. They are excited to come to Troy University to compete."

According to Busby, students are presented with a list of questions ahead of time and must work together in order to formulate their answers. During the competition, the questions will be posed by contest judges and each member of a team will participate in providing answers.

"This experience is valuable to students in many ways," Dr. Busby said. "First and foremost, they gain content knowledge of government and how governmental systems work. Second, they build important teamwork skills because the competition requires them to work together in both preparing and answering the questions. The experience also provides them the opportunity to get a sense for how the process really works. Students also gain exposure and feedback from the professors or professionals from the community who serve as judges that they might not otherwise receive were it not for this competition."

Students from Charles Henderson Middle School in Troy, D.A. Smith in Ozark, Ariton and Slocomb will take part in Tuesday's competition on the Troy Campus. Competition will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Trojan Center Ballrooms, lobby and adjoining classrooms.