Archive for Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Page program has added safeguards over years

October 3, 2006


Congressional pages are high school juniors who serve as glorified gofers in the House and Senate.

Candidates competing for the 100 page positions are sponsored by their local representative or senator. They have to have a 3.0 grade average, sterling references and a resume - and crank out an essay that wows the judges.

Pages attend a special school from 6:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. Then they head to work staffing the telephones in congressional offices and running errands for lawmakers.

Time was that pages lived in apartments without adult supervision and the minimum age was 14. But after two lawmakers admitted seducing pages in the early 1980s, they were moved into a dormitory a few blocks from the Capitol.

The pages now have a 10 p.m. curfew on weekdays and midnight on weekends. And they have to be at least 16.

Pages are paid about $1,600 a month, with $400 of that taken out for room and board. And their orientation includes instructions on how to handle sexual harassment.

The congressional page program dates back to 1829.


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