UIL State Congress is a model of the United States Congress. Students write and submit legislation, bills and resolutions covering real world issues while using well researched plans that could be used at the State or National Congressional level. These students work with topics such as issues with healthcare, the state of our education system, and even our tax system.

Students are given a docket of 30 bills and resolutions that are debated throughout two, three-hour sessions. Then they elect a Presiding Officer who runs the round while following parliamentary procedure. Beforehand, students prepare to argue all pieces of legislation, because they do not know which ones will be argued in each session.

Frenship had five students competing, with three making it to state as competitors and the other two we selected as alternates to the State.

Frenship High School Speech and Debate Coach Heather Byars said these students must spend a lot of time working and researching both affirmative and negative arguments that they will use during each round.

“The argumentative skill and knowledge that these students accumulate and use in their rounds is quite impressive,” Byars said. “They must be able to think quickly to not only answer questions asked of them during a round, but to also create speeches and arguments on the spot. The skills they learn in this competition specifically are skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. “

The UIL State Congress will take place in Austin during the first week of January. Salma A., Coral L., and Tatum C. will be competing against over 90 other competitors from across the state.