Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Dear Senators,

We are sincerely honored to be able to welcome you to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee at Harvard Model Congress Boston! We look forward to expanding the impressive legacy of HMC with you over the upcoming months.

We know that for nearly all of you HMC Boston will be your first Model Congress, and we are thrilled to be introducing you all to the exciting world of government simulation. As members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, you will be grappling with some of the most intriguing and important questions facing our nation today — namely, refugee policy and nuclear security.

Our aim for the conference is to immerse you in the work of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee while giving you an overview of American government at large. In addition to the topics of border security and counterterrorism, over the course of the conference you will learn about the legislative process, the division of power across the branches of government, and parliamentary procedure — the rules under which Congressmen discuss, debate, and vote on bills.

Your first Model Congress might seem daunting at the moment, but we assure you that we will guide you step-by-step at the conference. We also remind you that you can help yourselves by preparing for the conference. First, read over the briefings provided for you. Then, research independently. Debate the issues with your family and friends, and brainstorm innovative solutions to the problems before you. Your preparation for this conference should involve more than rote memorization of facts. Instead, you should learn to explain, understand, and truly inhabit both your assigned senator’s viewpoint and the viewpoints of those who differ from you politically.

At the conference, you will be expected to fight passionately for what your representatives believe, while always remembering that the goal of your political endeavors should ultimately be compromise — reaching a solution that best conforms to the wishes of your entire constituency. You may have been elected by Democrats or Republicans, but you will be representing all Americans. In this vein, your ability to reach ‘across the aisle’ without compromising your principles will take you far.

By way of introduction, Jessica is a senior in the college studying Social Studies. She is a proud Canadian with a predictable fondness of hockey, the winter Olympics, and the metric system. Outside of HMC, Jessica is involved with the International Relations Council, works at the college writing center, and loves exploring Boston by bike.

Kathryn is a senior studying English with a secondary field in Psychology. Aside from HMC, Kathryn is on the executive board of the Harvard College in Asia Program, an international exchange between Harvard and eight different Asian universities. In her spare time, Kathryn loves to travel, explore Boston, and write stories. She is excited for her third year of HMC Boston!

We look forward to meeting you in person at the conference and observing your solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing the United States today. In the meantime, we encourage you to email us with any questions, comments, or suggestions you may have! We love hearing from you!


Jessie Dorfmann and Kathryn Gundersen
Email: [email protected]


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