Stanford Invitational Tournament

Stanford Invitational Speech & Debate Tournament

Middle School Congress

Student Congress operates as a mock congressional session, with students debating bills which are announced approximately two weeks in advance of the tournament.

HOW IT WORKS:

WHAT STUDENTS ARE JUDGED ON: Judges at our tournament are instructed to make their decision based simply upon the 3 minute speeches and cross ex questions, and not on how well students use parliamentary procedure, so if your students come prepared to give 3 minute speeches for and against the topics and to answer questions defending their speech, they are prepared.

 

Please note the following important items about Middle School Student Congress:

 

 

TOPICS/BILLS: 

 

The 2019 docket will be posted approximately two weeks ahead of the tournament

 

2018 Stanford Invitational Middle School Congressional docket- left in place for reference in the leadup to the 2018 tournament

 

ADDITIONAL PAST SAMPLE TOPICS below (these are old/previously used Stanford Invitational Middle School congress topics as examples of past topics; THESE ARE NOT THE ACTUAL TOPICS FOR THE 2019 TOURNAMENT) 

 

 

 

SAMPLE #1) A bill to make all federal election days federal holidays

 

Section 1.  All federal election days shall be designated as federal holidays.

 

Section 2.  Any employee in a position deemed to serve an essential public interest and therefore are required to work during a federal holiday will observe the  the preceding day.

 

Section 3.  Polling places must be open on the Monday preceding federal elections to allow for voting by employees in positions serving an essential public interest.

 

Section 4.  This bill shall go into effect with the federal election on November 4, 2014.


 

SAMPLE #2) A resolution suggesting a ban on the sale of unhealthy foods in schools

 

Whereas, there is a systemic problem with the consumption of unhealthy food in the United States, and;

 

Whereas, diet is a function of availability for many people, and;

 

Whereas, most people’s eating habits are formed during youth;

 

Therefore, be it resolved by this student congress here assembled that the sale of unhealthy food and drink should be banned from school vending machines, stores and other means of distribution.  This ban would include but not be limited to sugary soda drinks, chips and candies.


 

SAMPLE #3) A bill to remove the phrase “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools

 

Section 1.  The phrase “under God” should be struck from the text of the Pledge of Allegiance as recited in public schools.

 

Section 2.  Schools which fail to comply with this statute shall face restrictions on their access to federal education funds.  This penalty would be scale from minimal symbolic restrictions on education funding up to a complete loss of education funding in order to allow a phase in of this new policy and for an educational period.

 

Section 3.  This bill shall go into effect on July 1, 2014.


 

SAMPLE #4) A resolution suggesting that parents be allowed to vote on behalf of their children in school board elections

 

Whereas, the decisions of a local school board have an inordinate impact on the students living within its boundaries, and;

 

Whereas, families with minor children have an added interest in the decisions of a local school board, and;

 

Whereas, our society recognizes that certain rights and responsibilities regarding minor children are entrusted to their parents;

 

Therefore, be it resolved by this student congress here assembled that parents or legal guardians should be given an extra vote in local school board elections for each of their children under the age of 18.


 

SAMPLE #5) A resolution suggesting foreign language instruction starting in elementary school

 

Whereas, studies show that language learning capabilities degrade quickly with increasing age, and;

 

Whereas, strong command of two or more languages is correlated with an improved analytical ability and other cognitive functions, and;

 

Whereas, recent research has suggested that there may be a correlation between bilingualism and reduced rates of mental diseases;

 

Therefore, be it resolved by this student congress here assembled that elementary education should include foreign language classes as part of a comprehensive and consistent offering of foreign languages through middle school and high school.


 

SAMPLE #6) A bill to restrict and vet animal testing

 

Section 1.  Testing of any products on animals is to be viewed with inherent skepticism, as is any research involving animal subjects.

 

Section 2.  An Animal Testing Review Board will be formed, modelled based on Institutional Review Boards that are used to vet studies and experiments involving human subjects.  As with Institutional Review Boards, these new Animal Testing Review Boards will be reviewed and held to standards set by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Section 3.  All proposals for studies involving animal subjects must be approved by the Animal Testing Review Board in order to proceed to the testing phase.

 

Section 4.  Corporations found to be in violation of this statute will be fined $10,000 per animal subjected to testing without approval.  Individuals may be held criminally liable for animal abuse.

 

Section 4.  Pharmaceuticals and other products currently undergoing testing to determine safety for human use or consumption may proceed to the end of their scheduled testing regimes without additional approval.  This grandfathering only applies to existing research or testing that is underway prior to the implementation of this bill.

 

Section 5.  This bill goes into effect on July 1, 2014.


 

SAMPLE #7) The New Homestead Act

 

Section 1.  Non-urban counties which have lost more than 10% of their population over the last 20 years shall be designated as high out-migration counties.

 

Section 2.  College graduates who move to a high out-migration county and stay for five or more years shall be eligible for student loan forgiveness of up to $5,000 and a home buying tax credit of $5,000.  Investments in primary residences shall be protected from market downturns by allowing any losses to be deducted from federal tax returns.

 

Section 3.  A $3 billion venture capital fund shall be created to support business development in high out-migration counties around the nation.  Local governments shall work with interested businesses to present proposals for funding to this venture capital fund.

 

Section 4.  This bill goes into effect on July 1, 2014.


 

SAMPLE #8) A bill to provide aid for Philippines typhoon relief

 

Section 1.  A one-time fund of $2 billion dollars shall be created and made available for the purpose of humanitarian relief and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure caused by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

 

Section 2.  All funds must be specifically allocated for use in storm relief.  This fund may not be used to supplement or fund general aid to the Philippines.

 

Section 3.  All necessary steps should be taken to make this funding available to qualifying projects with all deliberate speed.


Section 4.  Any funding not spent by December 31, 2015 simply reverts to the Treasury, and may not be counted as a savings or contribution to the budget as it is the intent of this policy to use the full extent of available funds for relief.

 

All posted example bills are copyright © 2013-19 Stanford Debate / Rich Boltizar, all rights reserved. Bills and resolutions may be reprinted for use at other speech and debate tournaments without fee or further permission if and only if accompanied by acknowledgment to Stanford Debate, and used AFTER their use at the Stanford Invitational. For permission to reprint for other purposes or inclusion in published material, contact invitational@stanforddebate.com.