The Program Since 1978, the New York State Senate Undergraduate Session Assistants Program has given students direct access to state government and the legislative process. Approximately 30 undergraduate students are selected for this unique experience every year. Strong personal initiative and principles are essential for success in the Program. Students typically receive as many as 15 credit hours in addition to a $6,600 stipend for their participation. Placement Session Assistants are assigned to work full-time in a Senator"s office based upon the student"s experience, abilities, and policy interests. Office supervisors will assign Assistants work and responsibilities related to the legislative process. Such duties may include: policy research; constituent relations; or the preparation of legislative documents. Stipend and Work Hours The Senate awards a $6,600 stipend to Session Assistants. The stipend is paid in biweekly installments following an initial two-week lag. Assistants are required to work a minimum of 35 hours per week, or 70 hours per biweekly pay period. Due to the nature of legislative work, longer hours may sometimes be necessary. Session Assistants must work through the last scheduled date of the program to receive the full and timely payment of their final biweekly stipend check. Model Session Model Legislative Session allows students to experience firsthand the lawmaking process, including drafting, negotiating, and debating/voting on original student legislation. It is the culminating program activity, and the experience of a lifetime. College Credit The Senate does not award course credits. Instead, a confidential performance evaluation will be provided. Advisement, evaluation, and the granting of credits are the responsibility of on-campus faculty. Due to the demands of the Program, the Senate imposes a limit of three (3) additional classroom credits pursued outside the Program during enrollment. The Margaret J. Hughes Memorial Fund Scholarship Margaret J. ?Maggie? Hughes served with distinction as Deputy Director of the Washington Office of the State of New York, as a Special Assistant to Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, and with the Washington Office of the New York State Senate. Wise, patient, and caring, Maggie was a knowledgeable resource and friend to many interns and young staffers. Every year, the New York State Senate awards $1,000 to the Undergraduate Session Assistant who embodies the values and commitment to public service for which Maggie was known. Candidates will be evaluated on overall performance, written communication skills, and their commitment to serving the public with integrity. Applications for the Margaret J. Hughes Memorial Fund Scholarship will be made available in early March, and one recipient will be chosen at the end of the program in April.

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