OHS junior serves as a page for local senator – Part 1
By Shailey Klein
Oak Hall junior Sarah Rosenberg participated in the Senate Page Program for the first semester of this school year. This program is a way for high school students to have a hands-on experience working for the United States Senate. As a page, Rosenberg was responsible for running notes back and forth between Senators and attending to all of her assigned Senators’ needs.
The Senate Page Program is not a well-known program and there is very little a person can find about it online…it’s all about who you know. When Florida Sen. Rick Scott was sworn into office on Jan. 8, 2019, Rosenberg’s father, Dr. Jason Rosenberg, traveled to Washington D.C. and saw all of the pages working on the Senate floor. This prompted research to find out more about the program, resulting in Sarah’s application to be a page beginning in the fall of 2019. To apply to be a page, the applicant reaches out to one particular senator, usually a local senator. With Dr. Rosenberg’s connection to Sen. Scott, she applied to be his page, which included letters of recommendation, essays, and an interview with Sen. Scott’s staff. After acceptance into the program, Rosenberg moved to D.C. at the beginning of September and began working as a Senate page.
As opposed to the comforts of Oak Hall, Rosenberg, along with 29 of her page peers, began this school year in D.C. Every day consisted of a 5 a.m. wake-up call with classes beginning at 6:15 a.m. Rosenberg would attend school everyday until Senate convened. Each day, there were four classes of around 35 minute periods. Rosenberg was able to keep up with the same core classes which she is currently enrolled in for the second semester at Oak Hall. After breakfast and schooling, the 30 pages would walk to the Senate office buildings and travel via an underground tunnel to the Capitol.
Before Senate convened, the pages were responsible for setting up the Chamber for the day, like running dailies to all of the offices. Dailies informed the senators of the agenda from the day before. Once Senate convened, the pages would run shifts in the Senate for one-hour-on and one-hour-off, allowing them time to complete school work. “When you were working, you would set up for Senators to speak and run back and forth to their offices to do whatever they need,” Rosenberg stated. Even something as simple as bringing a senator candy was included in the pages’ responsibilities. “Being able to do homework in the Senate was the only way we could have gotten it done, so it was helpful,” Rosenberg added.
There were two shifts that the pages worked, an early shift and a late shift. The early shift would go until 6 p.m., while the late shift went until Senate adjourned in the evening. “It was usually 9 or 10 p.m. every night,” Rosenberg noted. Rosenberg stated that it was definitely hard balancing school with a full-time job. “There were some very late nights and very little sleep throughout the whole semester,” she added.
Part two will examine Rosenberg’s semester-long experience as a Senate page.