Election Simulation goes nationwide

Photo+by+Rebekah+Jones

Photo by Rebekah Jones

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It’s Election Simulation season at Townsend Harris High School. Along with the traditional simbucks and weekly episodes of Hawknet Television, this year’s election simulation strays from the usual expectations of Harrisites.

This year, The New Yorker will launch a broadcast in conjunction with WNYC, a non-profit radio station of New York City, covering the Election Simulation. A New Yorker radio hour will cover the event, and the story will get distributed across the country through the broadcast. “It’s a brand new block they’re putting together,” noted Dr. Linda Steinmann, Social Studies teacher and coordinator of the Election Simulation project. “I guess after talking to Mr. Wood about the Election Simulation, they decided that this would make a great topic.”

New Yorker reporter Joshua Rothman expressed his interest in covering the Election Simulation. “Lots of schools have a model U.N. or model Congress,” he said. “As far as we know, the incredibly detailed Election Simulation at Townsend Harris, complete with simulated money and a simulated press, is unique.”

This presents a new and exciting step for the school, even more so for the students representing the candidates.

Senior Max Lacoma, who is enacting Republican candidate Jeb Bush, commented, “I think it’s fantastic that The New Yorker is covering our simulation. The simulation is such a unique event that only Townsend has, and I think by publicizing it in this way, it could inspire other schools and other districts to start their own programs inspired by us.”

For many involved, The New Yorker’s coverage of the Election Simulation is an honor and adds to the pronounced standard many recognize THHS for.

“For the seniors, I hope they take away the effort and the dedication that goes into huge group projects like this,” contributed senior John Mullane, who plays Republican candidate Ted Cruz. “For the rest of the school, [I hope] they get to learn about policies and politics.”

Dr. Steinmann added, “Based on what I’ve seen so far, the candidates take their role very seriously. I’m hoping that the underclassmen also learn something about civic responsibility.”

Mr. Wood also voiced his opinion on this year’s simulation. “I want the students to learn about the issues and feel confident about speaking and standing up in front of students and putting on a role. I want students to learn about issues of today and want everyone to have fun doing it.”

Photo by Rebekah Jones
Photo by Rebekah Jones

Along with interest in sharing the story of this THHS tradition, Mr. Rothman hopes this coverage will speak of American politics to a larger audience. “[The New Yorker and WNYC] think that older voters will see a lot of the actual political process reflected in the simulated process at Townsend Harris,” he commented.

With the class of 2016 hard at work in this year’s simulation, along with the big step in publication of the event through The New Yorker and WNYC, the students of THHS can only wait and see what else this year’s simulation will bring.

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