WHO IS THE CONTACT IN CONGRESSMAN HENRY BROWN'S OFFICE?
Delores DaCosta - 202-225-3176
WHAT IS THE PAGE PROGRAM?
Pages are young people who are hired to serve as helpers for the U.S. House of Representatives. They are students in their junior year of high school who come to Washington D.C. to live, work, and study as Pages. This Program, which includes the House Page Residence Hall, the House Page School, and the work responsibilities, is administered by the Office of the Clerk, pursuant to direction from the Majority and Minority leadership and the U.S. House of Representatives Page Board. The practice of having Pages dates back over 200 years.
While there are over 400 Members of Congress wishing to recommend a young person for a Page position, there are only about 66 Page positions available. This narrows opportunity considerably. All students must be sponsored by a Member of Congress to become a Page. Thus, the first step is to ask a Member of Congress for sponsorship. That Member will then have to contact the proper hiring authority to start the application process. Not every Member can sponsor a Page every time.
Page eligibility is limited to juniors in high school only. All applicants must be at least sixteen years old on the date they begin their Page term. No exceptions.
Members use their discretion when nominating a student to serve as a Page. The individual Members may have certain standards on which they rely as they select the student they would like to sponsor.
Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA to be eligible for the House Page School and all School Year Pages must attend the Page School. Candidates must submit a home school verification of the GPA, based on the four major courses, no electives. Limitations may arise due to the House Page School curriculum.
PAGE WORK EXPERIENCE
Pages are employees of the House, and the work they perform is important. Pages work as a team and not in individual Members offices. Page duties consist primarily of delivering correspondence, legislative material, and small packages within the Congressional complex. A few Pages are assigned to answer phones in the Members' Cloakroom, take messages for Members, call them to the phone if they are in the House Chamber and prepare the House Floor for sessions. Still others monitor a telephone bank of incoming requests for page service. A rotation system is practiced so that every Page has an opportunity to experience the various areas of service.
The work experience is supervised by full time adult employees who manage the Page work responsibilities on a daily basis. Pages sponsored by the Majority report to the Majority Chief Page, and those sponsored by the Minority report to the Minority Chief Page. Pages report to work after classes and work until 5:00 p.m. or when the House adjourns for the day, whichever is later.
THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES PAGE BOARD
In 1982 the Speaker's Commission on Pages recommended that "responsibility for the administration of the Page program be centralized in a Page Board, established by statute...... The statute reads, " Until otherwise provided by law, there is hereby established a board to be known as the House of Representatives Page Board to ensure that the Page program is conducted in a manner that is consistent with the efficient functioning of the House and welfare of the Pages." The statute was adopted by the 97th Congress. The first Members of the House Page Board were appointed in November of 1982. The Board consists of two Members from the Majority party selected by the Speaker, one Member from the Minority party selected by the Minority Leader, the Clerk of the House and the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House.
Academic year Pages are asked to serve at least one full semester, and may be asked to serve for two semesters. Academic semesters are considered to be Fall and Spring and require attendance at the U.S. House of Representatives Page School. The Summer Program starts approximately the second week of June each year with termination determined by the legislative work schedule. This schedule also determines whether or not there will be one or two terms of The Summer Page Program.
Appointment to the Page Program is on an at-will basis and may be terminated at any time, with or without cause and with or without notice.
As a Page in the U.S. House of Representatives, you are expected to maintain a neat appearance and conservative hairstyle at all times and adhere to the Page Dress Code while working on the Capitol Complex during business hours. Dress requirements for work and school include, for young men, navy blue wool or acrylic jackets, dark gray slacks, a uniform tie, a white long-sleeved, permanent press dress shirt, solid black shoes and socks. Young women wear navy blue wool or acrylic jackets, white long-sleeved, permanent-press oxford type blouses, a uniform tie, dark gray slacks or knee length, non-slit, dark gray skirts, solid black shoes and nylons. Navy blue, white, or gray sweaters may be worn in the winter months under the jacket. Usually jackets are not worn from May through Labor Day, except when working on the House Floor. Shoes may be either a comfortable dress style or a non-canvas low cut athletic type. Shoes must be solid black.
The uniform tie will be provided by the Clerk's Office after arrival in Washington. Required clothing may be purchased at a department store or specialty store in your area. Pages will be charged for any uniform tie that they request over the one allotted.
THE HOUSE PAGE RESIDENCE HALL
Staffing and Accommodations. The Page Residence Hall is staffed by a Director and five assistants, all of whom are adults and reside within the quarters. The Residence Hall is located on two floors of the O'Neil House Office Building, two blocks from the Capitol and the Library of Congress, where the school is located. Each room provides ample space for two or three occupants, with twin size beds, desks, chairs, chest of drawers, and adequate closet space. Each room has a private bath shared by the occupants and a telephone which is also shared.
Pages are responsible for providing their own twin sheets and pillow cases, towels, pillows, hangers and any small accessories such as desk lamps, book ends and photographs, which may make life more comfortable and pleasant.
One floor is designated for young men and the other for young women. Each floor has a community room, study hall, and is staffed by three people. Residents are responsible for maintenance of their personal quarters. Weekly inspections are made by the Residence Hall staff to assure that quarters meet standards of cleanliness and health necessary for proper group living. Free laundry facilities are provided within the building.
Security. Security measures include foot patrols of the building by U.S. Capitol Police, a lobby desk manned by U.S. Capitol Police 24 hours a day, and requiring residents and visitors to sign in after 6 PM. There are strategically placed alarm phones, fireproof stairwells, a ceiling sprinkler system, emergency fire fighting tanks, fire escapes, and other measures required by the District of Columbia in community life structures.
Agreement and Costs. A Residence Hall Agreement, delineating payment requirements, responsibility for damage, uses of the Residence Hall, and similar pertinent matters must be signed before taking residence.
THE HOUSE PAGE SCHOOL
The House Page School is located in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress and offers a Junior Year course of study only. The School is accredited through Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Classes begin at 6:45 AM and include Mathematics, English, Social Studies, Science, French, Spanish, Computer Technology and a Work Experience course.
To assure each pupil's participation and exposure to the unique educational and cultural opportunities existing in this historical seat of government the Washington Interdisciplinary Studies Program (WISP) develops field trips and hosts guest speakers.
The courses offered in the disciplines mentioned are those typically taken by high school juniors in a college prep program. Saturday classes are sometimes required.
COMPENSATION AND FEES
Salary. Pages are paid at an annual rate of $13,405, with a monthly gross salary of $1115, from which automatic deductions are made for federal and state taxes, Social Security, and the Residence Hall fee. Pages are paid on the last working day of the month, as are all House employees.
Residence Hall fees. Page Hall residents must make an initial security deposit of $100 when checking in, refundable within 60 days of termination, when it has been determined that the individual is not responsible for any damage to premises or other charges. Payment should be made by personal check, bank check, or money order made payable to U.S. Treasury. The cost of residence life is $300 per month which includes five breakfast and seven dinner meals per week and is automatically deducted from the Page's monthly paycheck, as mentioned above. All charges will be deducted from the initial security deposit. However, if charges exceed the amount of the deposit, the Page will be billed for the excess amount.
Banking. School year pages are allowed to open a House Credit Union account ($25 deposit required) and can have their paychecks deposited directly into their account. Summer Pages should make their own arrangements with a bank in their home town.
Spending money. It is recommended that Pages bring approximately $250 in travelers checks to cover the expenses of the first month, such as lunch, weekend activities, and other miscellaneous expenses.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO APPLY
Contact Delores DaCosta in Congressman Henry Brown's Office at 202-225-3176.
For a Video: A video detailing the Page Program is now available through the Legislative Resource Center. This video gives students interested in becoming a Page a closer look at the school, residence hall, and work aspects of the Program. You may order a copy by calling the Legislative Resource Center at (202)-226-5200 or by mailing a request to B-106 Cannon H.O.B., Washington, D.C. 20515. The cost is $15.00.