The Senate of Virginia Page Program is a real-life civics class. Senate pages and messengers are engaged in the legislative process through work assignments, observation and hands-on activities. They harness the concept of hard work, develop an ability to think critically and obtain exceptional job skills as they work alongside top government officials and people with whom life-long friendships will be forged. The Senate of Virginia Page Program is a life-changing experience.
The chief duty of Senate pages and messengers is running errands to assist the Senators during floor sessions and committee meetings. In addition, Senate pages and messengers answer telephones, work in the bill room, post office, Clerk's Office, assist in the public information office, staff information desks and speak with visiting school groups. The Senate Clerk's Office administers a rigorous, three-day orientation and training program to prepare Senate pages and messengers to successfully fulfill workplace responsibilities. Senate pages and messengers also run errands for the Clerk's staff and perform various tasks that include collating and filing bills, delivering supplies and recycling.
Senate pages and messengers work from 8:15 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Friday. Area assignments are scheduled weekly to encourage mentoring, professional development and a deeper understanding of the legislative process. Errands are delegated by Senate Page Supervisors as requests are made to the Senate Page Room. Senate pages and messengers receive a salary and per diem. Hotel accommodations and chaperones are provided by the Senate Clerk's Office.
A monitored study hall is mandatory for Senate pages and messengers who reside at the hotel. All pages and messengers are responsible for obtaining and maintaining their schoolwork and assignments. Tutors are available to assist students with assignments from their schools. Work is not assigned by the tutors. Senate pages and messengers must keep up with their studies.
The educational experience extends well beyond work assignments and errands. Senate pages and messengers are charged with developing and implementing a community service project and bi-weekly newsletter. The class considers current issues from their respective localities. The class is then afforded an opportunity to work through the issues, opinions and various complexities in mock committees and a mock session. Learning also continues beyond the boundaries of Capitol Square. Educational tours of historic sites and museums in Richmond allow participants to gain an appreciation for Virginia's rich culture, history and heritage.
Senate pages and messengers are expected to maintain professional decorum at all times while employed with the Senate Clerk's Office. The Clerk of the Senate, Senators and staff expect exemplary behavior, a can-do attitude and a willingness to learn. Any infraction of the rules and code of conduct outlined in the program handbook may result in dismissal from the program.
The Senate elects eleven pages, one from each of the eleven congressional districts. Five pages are appointed by the leadership of the Senate to serve during a legislative session. Messengers are appointed by the Clerk of the Senate.
Senate pages and messengers cannot be less than 13 nor more than 14 years of age at the time of election or appointment. They are elected or appointed for a term of one session and are not eligible for reelection or reappointment. In order to provide this opportunity for as many young people as possible, persons who have served as a page in the House of Delegates are not eligible to serve as a Senate page or messenger.
Recognized for excellence, the program prepares young people to be effective leaders and responsible citizens in their community. Applicants should have an A or B average in school at the time of appointment. Written permission for a student to serve must be obtained in writing from the principal of the school in which he/she is enrolled at the time of the application, before being elected or appointed.
The deadline to submit Senate applications for 2014 session was November 1, 2013. The application for the 2015 session will be available August 1, 2014. If you have additional questions, please call toll-free at 1(888) 892-6948 or 1(804) 698-7410 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Select a PDF below to find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions regarding the House of Delegates Page Program.
The School and Education PDF answers questions for principals, teachers, guidance counselors, students, and families.
The House Page Program PDF answers questions for students and families about applying and what it is like to be a House of Delegates Page.
Each year the Speaker of the House of Delegates appoints 13 and 14 year-olds from across the Commonwealth to serve as House pages during the regular session of the General Assembly. These young people assist the members of the House of Delegates, the House Clerk's staff, and other legislative staff in the daily duties required for the successful operation of the House of Delegates during the session.
The page workday begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. A lunch break is provided. There is no weekend work except for the last Saturday of session. Pages deliver documents throughout the Capitol complex, and perform errands for members and staff of the House of Delegates during each day's floor session and at committee meetings. Pages are also selected for assignments in specific House offices including the Speaker's Office, the Clerk's Office, the Bill Room, the Copy Center, and the Governor's Office. Pages are trained for these assignments during the first two days of their employment. Every effort is made to provide each page with a variety of work assignments. All work assignments are important to the legislative process and should be performed in a professional manner.
While at work pages are under the supervision of the Clerk and the Information & Communications Services Director, the Page Coordinator and Assistant Page Coordinator, and two Head Pages who served as pages the previous year. After work pages have approximately two hours of unsupervised free time from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. reserved for eating dinner. It is mandatory that all pages reside at the hotel. There are two chaperones on duty at the hotel from 5:00 p.m. until 8:30 a.m. each day, Sunday through Friday.
A mandatory study hall is held at the hotel every Monday through Thursday evening from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Certified teachers supervise the pages and help individual students as needed. Study hall teachers do not provide classroom instruction and do not administer tests and exams. Pages are responsible for arranging with their schools and teachers the preferred method of taking tests and exams. They must also make arrangements with their schools and teachers to maintain their schoolwork, including any tutoring that is required. Pages are responsible for making their own weekend travel arrangements.
It is important that prospective pages understand that they are to conduct themselves in an adult manner and should always be on their best behavior as they are representing their delegates, families, and schools. Serving as a page is a wonderful experience and an educational opportunity. However, it is also a 40-hour per week paid position for which they are making a firm commitment to report to work every day. Requests for time off to participate in extracurricular activities will not be granted. Their commitment requires hard work, initiative, responsibility, and a positive attitude. The Speaker and the Clerk expect excellent behavior from the pages and rely on a strong support network between the pages, their families, teachers, and the Clerk's staff. Pages not conducting themselves in an appropriate manner will be disciplined as required, which may include removal from the program.
The Speaker's Office and the Clerk's Office staffs strive to ensure that each page's employment with the House of Delegates is both enjoyable and educational.
The deadline to submit applications for the 2014 House Page program was October 28, 2013 at 5 PM. If you have questions about the application process or the Virginia House of Delegates Page Program, call Kathy Roberts at (804) 698-1128 or e-mail: email@example.com.