The Converse delegation of the South Carolina Student Legislature (SCSL) was named Best Small Delegation during the 47th annual Fall Session held recently at the Statehouse in Columbia. In addition, bills authored by two Converse students (Frances Cate ’04 and Susan Byrnes ’04) were passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and Niki Castle ’06 was elected to serve as Supreme Court Justice for the Spring Session.
Other members of the Converse delegation included Danielle Beck ’05, Mary Carolyn DeBruhl ’07, Valerie Dowling ’07, Jennifer Jones ’07, Bethany Nichols ’05 and Elizabeth Walker ’06.
SCSL is a non-partisan statewide organization in which delegates representing all of the state’s colleges, universities, and technical schools participate. During session, bills are brought up for discussion by SCSL House and Senate members on the floor of the S.C. Congress and then voted upon. The bills are then presented to the actual House and Senate members.
The bill authored by Frances centered upon organ donation. “Even though the intent of an organ donor is shown on their driver’s license, hospital personnel mainly rely on wishes of family members,” explained Frances, a pre-med major who is completing an internship with the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. “Of course the family members are often times in an emotional state of mind and very often decline to follow through with the donor’s intent. In the SCSL bill, I proposed that the driver’s license be the main source for the hospital personnel in making the decision.” In the Fall Session, Frances also completed her term as Attorney General for SCSL.
Susan’s bill addressed the operating practices of money lending businesses in S.C. “Many money lending businesses make it very easy for people to take out a loan to pay off another loan,” said Susan, a business and marketing major. “Low-income families are often the target of this practice, and it keeps them in debt for most of their lives. The bill that I authored will not allow for one loan to be used to pay for another one.”
Nikki’s election to Supreme Court Justice involved an application, interview and election by her peers. For the nine Justice positions, 18 individuals applied. “For me, the highlight of the session being able to meet and get to know Jenny Sanford,” said Nikki. “She is such an impressive person. She managed her husband’s (Mark) gubernatorial campaign through a primary, a runoff and the general election.”