Student Government Affairs Program

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Student Forum Newsletter for March 2021 (Minimum Wage and Keystone XL)

All ‘Ayes’ on the Senate: As of Feb. 6, the Senate had confirmed six out of 23 of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet members so far. If all Cabinet members are approved, it will be the most diverse array of presidential counselors ever. But can Biden get them confirmed by the Senate? Democrats’ narrow control of the chamber has made the process smoother for Biden’s nominees thus far, but Republicans have managed to slow-walk others, who could prove more contentious.

Student Forum Newsletter for February 2021 (Paris Climate Agreement and Dream Act)

On Jan. 3, the 117th Congress convened in Washington, D.C. for the first time, during the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency, and will end on Jan. 3, 2023; it will meet during the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency. The 2020 elections decided control of both houses. The Democratic Party retained their majority in the House and flipped the Republican Senate majority following two runoff elections held in Georgia and Kamala Harris’s assumption of the vice presidency.

Student Forum Newsletter for December 2020 (Social Media Bias and Universal Basic Income)

With votes still being counted, turnout in the 2020 presidential election has hit a 50-year high, exceeding the record set by the 2008 presidential election. As of Nov. 9, the tallied votes accounted for 62% of the eligible voting-age population. The sheer number of votes also set records. So far, 148 million votes have been tallied, with Democrat Joe Biden winning more than 75 million—the highest number for a presidential candidate in history. Trump received more than 70 million—the highest total for a losing candidate.

Teacher Spotlight on Amber Konzem in Richardson, TX

Although she has spent 24 years of her life working with school-age students in various capacities—from subbing to working with at-risk students and scouting—Amber Konzem has spent all seven years of her official teaching career at Lloyd V. Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas. An affluent inner suburb of Dallas, Richardson is home to the University of Texas at Dallas and the Telecom Corridor; more than 5,000 businesses have operations within Richardson’s 28 square miles. Berkner High School is one of four public high schools in the Richardson Independent School District, and it is where Konzem teaches U.S. Government, Economics and Personal Finance to 11th and 12th graders.

Student Forum Newsletter for November 2020 (TikTok and Student Loan Debt)

On Sept. 26, President Donald Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Sept. 18. Barrett’s confirmation hearing began on Oct. 12. Barrett is an American attorney, jurist and academic who serves as a circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Before and while serving on the federal bench, she has been a professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, where she has taught civil procedure, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation.