Thomas Whitehouse, a senior double majoring in resource economics and agriculture and natural resources and double minoring in animal science and political science, has been named a 2013 Legislative Fellow, making him the first ever Legislative Fellow majoring in resource economics.
The Legislative Fellows Program is a partnership between the School of Public Policy and Administration’s Institute for Public Administration and the Delaware General Assembly and will enter its 32nd year with an impressive track record and a well-respected reputation. For the past two years, the program has been run in cooperation with Delaware State University.
The program has over 250 alumni including successful young graduates and established politicians, such as current U.S. Rep. John Carney.
Legislative Fellows are selected through a highly competitive selection process involving the campuses at both UD and DSU. This year, Whitehouse will be one of six undergraduate and six graduate students from UD who will join the legacy and make the commute to Dover three days a week until the end of June to assist the state’s policymakers in the legislature’s four caucuses.
Whitehouse said that he wanted to get involved with the program because he is interested in policy. “I’m thinking about going into policy in the future,” said Whitehouse. “It’s one of the things that I want to do and I thought this would be a good experience.”
As a Legislative Fellow, Whitehouse has been assigned to the House Majority, which is the Democrats, and he explained that most of his duties involve research and administrative duties, such as taking the minutes or helping to run committee meetings.
When it comes to research, Whitehouse explained that a lot of the time, politicians want him to find general and specific information on legislation passed in other parts of the country. “They just want a summary and maybe they want legislation that was passed in other states so they can refer to that and maybe the history of that legislation,” explained Whitehouse.
In addition to being a Legislative Fellow, Whitehouse is also in Animal Science Club and the Alpha Zeta fraternity. So far, he has been involved with a possible bill focusing on chemicals of high concern with regards to consumer products. Whitehouse, who is from New Jersey, said that he has learned a lot more about how the Delaware state legislature works during his time as a Legislative Fellow.
As for what he is most looking forward to, Whitehouse explained that he is interested to see how some hot button issues get resolved at the local level.
To read more about the Legislative Fellows Program and other 2013 Legislative Fellows, check out the article on UDaily.
Article by Adam Thomas