University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


Political Science students visit the State House with State Rep Aaron Vega

As part of PoliSci 297 with State Rep Aaron Vega, students took a day trip to the Massachusetts State House. This day trip was the culmination of their hard work in class and mirrored the experience they were studying about throughout the semester. Each student had to follow a campaign and track a bill in the current legislative cycle. At the State House, students sat in during a public hearing on Governor Baker's opioid bill, toured the building, heard from other State Representatives, State Senators, staff from the Speakers office, the office of the Attorney General and the House Clerk. During these discussions students learned about the priorities of each legislator, how bills are passed into law and what a day in the life of a law maker is like.

The class focused on local and state politics and review the mechanics of campaigning. From education funding, public accommodations, gun safety law, health care and more the class also discussed and debated on current laws at the state level. 
In addition to the two large research papers, one on a current campaign and current bill, students wrote 6 reflection papers on topics from what they would want to see in their elected officials to what issues they would want to work on if they were candidates for office.

"The experience at the State House is a one of a kind, behind the scenes look at democracy in action and glimpse into our political history as well as future. For some of the students it was their first time ever visiting the State House and meeting with legislators. It has been a real honor to teach this class for me as I learned just as much from my students as they learned from me." - State Rep Aaron Vega 


  • Current Students
  • Undergraduate

News Type: 

  • Faculty News