2023 Scholar Weeks: January 22-27 | February 12-17 | March 12-17
Senate Scholars engage in a variety of experiences during their stay in the program. Typical activities may include attending floor debates in the Senate Chamber, committee hearings, seminars conducted by select individuals involved in the legislative process (lobbyists, reporters, legislative staff, Governor’s staff, etc.), and seminars by professors and students from the Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In addition, Senate Scholars will be required to engage in mock legislative activities, such as bill and amendment drafting, policy analysis, fiscal analysis, constituent communications, and lobbying. These activities will culminate in a mock legislative hearing at which Senate Scholars will provide and obtain testimony and then hold an executive session to vote a bill out of committee. Parents and relatives are welcome to attend this hearing.
At the close of the program, there will be an awards reception at which certificates will be given to the Senate Scholars. Parents and relatives are invited and encouraged to attend this event.
Although the rigorous curriculum is itself an enjoyable challenge, fun evening activities are also planned for each group of Senate Scholars. Typical activities may include movies, music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Union, games, sporting and cultural events, and dining at local restaurants.
HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION
Each Senate Scholar is required to stay at the Concourse Hotel in downtown Madison. The rooms are non-smoking, and the cost is included in the tuition fee. The hotel is located two blocks from the State Capitol. The Senate Sergeant at Arms staff also stays at this hotel and, along with the Sergeant at Arms, is available to Senate Scholars 24 hours a day. It is the responsibility of each Senate Scholar to obtain transportation to Madison.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Although a significant level of supervision will be provided, each Senate Scholar is responsible for governing his or her own behavior. Each Senate Scholar is required to sign a code of conduct, which includes a promise not to consume alcoholic beverages or illegal substances during his or her participation in the program. Any individual found in violation of the code of conduct may be dismissed from the program without refund of tuition, and his or her parent or guardian will be required to arrange transportation home for the individual. In addition, the individual’s school and State Senator will be notified of the dismissal from the program.
The Senate Scholar Program is open to Wisconsin high school juniors and seniors aged 16-18. The program is also open to qualified individuals who are homeschooled. Each Senate Scholar must have outstanding academic qualifications and experiences that demonstrate an ability to perform tasks with a high degree of responsibility. Applicants may also be subject to additional requirements imposed by their high school.