Congressional Seat Apportionment

There is no way to change the Congressional apportionment system to make it truly “fair.” No matter what changes are made, it is highly unlikely that a method can be found in which the citizens of all states have exactly the same representative power. There is no way to get the numbers to work out neatly as whole numbers when comparing state populations, and there is no way to let states have a fraction of a representative. In terms of the people serving as representatives, it’s the whole individual or nothing; they can’t be cut in half. Because of this, whole number ranges are used to allocate seats, which is the best solution given the circumstances. The numbers will not work out nicely on their own, especially as state populations change over time.

However, there are ways in which the system could be made fairer than it currently is. The ranges used to determine the number of seats each state is allowed could be made smaller so that states at the high and low ends of those ranges are closer in terms of per capita representation. Discrepancies would remain, but at least the gaps would be smaller. Another change that should be made is to give seats to Washington D.C. and the U.S. territories (a better change would be to give the territories their statehoods, but at the very least they should have seats). The decisions made in the House have an influence on the people living in these areas, and they should be given the ability to have a say in such decisions.

There is also a possibility of increasing the size of the House. This decision could potentially help to narrow down the ranges since more seats would mean more opportunities for representation. However, considering that the current size of the House is 435, any increase in size should not be very large. Major increases in size may have negative impacts on efficiency and increase the challenges in solving disagreements currently facing the House. An increase in the number of seats in the House should not expand the total number of representatives beyond four hundred and sixty or seventy-five to avoid huge losses in efficiencies while providing a decent number of new seats for D.C. and the territories and the current states as well. There should be a fairer allocation of seats in the House, but there will never be a way to give each American citizen the exact same representative power, regardless of what changes are made.

Career

[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

Artifacts

Hanna Stolzer is a current sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, but moved to Pittsburgh and Lancaster due to her dad’s work as a lawyer. Currently undecided in her major, Hanna is pursuing her interests in both business and public policy and is hoping to attend either grad or law school, preferably in Pennsylvania, after earning her diploma from OSU. In her free time, Hanna enjoys theater, reading mysteries and traveling, and she was fortunate to have the chance to visit several cities in Greece this past summer.

About Me

Mary (Mattie) Conley is a history and political science double major from Shaker Heights, Ohio. She is a member of the Politics, Society, and Law Scholars program and hopes to attend law school after graduating from Ohio State. A passionate reader and writer, Mattie intends to pursue undergraduate research in the next few years and to expand her horizons by becoming involved in an education abroad program. She also hopes to be active in the campus community by working as a University Ambassador, PSL mentor, or FYE peer leader. In previous years, Mattie has spent time volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, and she is excited to continue to help out at the House in Columbus as a member of Buckeyes for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email eportfolio@osu.edu. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

Over the course of my time at Ohio State, I hope to accomplish each of my Honors and Scholars G.O.A.L.S. To gain a greater global awareness, I would like to take advantage of the opportunity to meet and interact with many different people from various backgrounds. Additionally, by the time I graduate, I hope to be able to participate in an education abroad program in Europe or Australia. I also intend to become involved in original inquiry by taking part in undergraduate research, most likely in history or political science, and graduating with research distinction. In terms of academic enrichment, I aim to challenge myself by taking rigorous courses and graduating with a double major in history and political science, as well as a minor, perhaps in economics or English. In doing so, I hope to explore my various academic interests in greater depth and to prepare myself for the rigors of law school, which I plan to attend after graduating. By becoming active in various groups and clubs, as well as by becoming a University Ambassador, FYE peer leader, or PSL mentor, I hope to develop my leadership skills throughout my time here at Ohio State. I would also like to become involved in service. In the past, I have spent time volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, and I am happy to be able to continue to support the organization here in Columbus as a part of Buckeyes for Ronald McDonald House Charities.