The goal for Congress Day is to give the Mason community and Northern Virginia residents an opportunity:
- To learn more about the policies and legislative proposals of Virginia’s U.S. Senators and NoVA US House members for the 118th Congress and
- To tell their representatives and their staff what issues are most important them and how they might be best addressed
Congress Day 2023 will occur on April 24th between 8:45am and noon at the Hub Ballroom on the Fairfax Campus.
Activities in the front and rear of the Hub ballroom will include:
- 50 minute town halls with current and former congressional representatives discussing proposed bills for the 118th Congress;
- Special panel session on “Women in Politics”;
- Speed Roundtable discussions about legislation on key issues such as climate change, human rights, public safety, college affordability, and democracy.
- Opportunities to learn about the representatives, university programs, policy-focused research centers, and student groups
Students onAir @GMU, coordinators for this event, plans to have a Congress Day at a Mason campus every year and to facilitate Congress Days throughout the US. All sponsor donations will go to these future events. To learn more about Mason students and alumni supporting democracy, go to this post.
For more information, contact Camila Anderson, Students onAir Outreach Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dulguun Gantumur, Students onAir Logistics Manager at email@example.com.
YouTube Livestream – starts at 8:45 am
Below is a more detailed summary of Congress Day activities.
WHO: Congressional representatives & their staff, GMU policy-focused faculty, academic programs, and student organizations related to governance, elections, and civic engagement.
FOR WHOM: GMU undergraduate and graduate students, the university community, and NoVA residents. Students will have first preference to reserve a seat for the town hall session(s) they are interested in (Front Ballroom). The Mason community and Northern Virginia residents will also be able to participate in the Speed Roundtable discussions and learn about their representatives and university organizations through interactive exhibits, posters, and literature handouts (Rear Ballroom). The public can watch the livestreamed town halls and chat in the YouTube Live broadcast.
WHY: Introduce students (& NoVA residents) to the policy positions and legislative proposals of their congressional representatives. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with participating representatives, their staff, and Mason faculty and discuss key issues and legislation being debated in the 118th Congress.
WHEN: Monday April 24 from 8:45 to 1:00 pm (will depend on how many representatives participate can extend to 3:00)
WHERE: All public activities will occur in the Hub Ballroom at 4400 Rivanna River Way, Fairfax, VA 22030. Google Map here. Go to the reception area on the Hub’s third floor to start your Congress Day.
FRONT BALLROOM (Town Halls): Each participating representative or other presenter will have 50 minutes to present the legislation they (or a party) are prioritizing in the 118th Congress and take questions and suggestions from the student audience. Tom Davis will be giving an overview of Republican priorities for the 118th Congress and answer audience questions. In addition, a special one hour panel discussion on “Women in Politics” is scheduled for Congress Day.
REAR BALLROOM: Speed Roundtable discussions with time limits on key issues for the 118th Congress such as climate, public safety, human rights, and democracy. Tables will be provided for representatives’ staff to display and discuss specific legislative proposals and for university organizations to promote their student clubs, academic programs, and research centers focused on government, policy, and politics.
VIDEO: The front ballroom activities will be recorded and livestreamed. Videographers will record the rear ballroom activities as well as interviews with representatives, their staff, students, and the university community. After Congress Day, highlight videos will be produced for each representative.
Hub Ballroom Layout
All public activities will occur in the Hub Ballroom at 4400 Rivanna River Way, Fairfax, VA 22030. Google Map here. Go to the reception area on the third floor for more information.
The Front Ballroom is where the all town halls will occur. Follow the blue lines from the reception area to enter the front ballroom.
The Rear Ballroom is where the Speed Roundtable discussions will occur. There will be a chairs behind the participants in the discussions so people can get in line to replace a person leaving the discussion. The Rear Ballroom also is where the iMacs and posters are located.
Top issues Survey
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Reserve a seat for a Town Hall
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Congress Day 2023 Poster
Below is a preliminary 24″ x 36″ poster that is under development . The intent is to display this poster in multiple locations at Mason’s NoVA campuses and be provided to the participating representatives. The QR code goes to this post in the VA Government onAir Hub. This poster will be updated \ to identify what representatives are appearing in person or via zoom and when they and/or their staffs will be in their town hall session or at the tables in the rear ballroom.
Learn about your representatives
To learn more about each representative, there will be posters of each representative with links to their government websites and VA Gov onAir posts.
There will be posters in the rear ballroom that will provide Congress Day visitors an opportunity to learn about the university programs and student organizations that are involved with governance, elections, or promote civic engagement in US democracy. In addition, policy-focused research centers will also staff tables in the Rear Ballroom so students and the public can learn more about their offerings.
A sample poster of Mason’s Community Engagement and Civic Learning (CECiL) program is below.