Friday, March 31, 2023

Oxford High Junior Spends Fall Semester as Senate Page in D.C.

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

Oxford High School junior Charlie Frugé didn’t spend his first semester of this school year sitting in a classroom all day like most students.

Oxford High School junior Charlie Frugé, left, served as a Senate Page for Sen. Roger Wicker, right. Photo provided

For six months, he spent his fall semester in Washington, DC, serving as a page for Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker.

Frugé applied for the opportunity in the summer and out of many submissions, Sen. Wicker’s office selected Frugé to take part in the program.

Pages assist their congressmen during Senate sessions, delivering messages and carrying bills and amendments to the desk and general support services to the senators and staff.

It’s a long day. Pages attend classes early in the morning, generally around 6 to 9 a.m. And then to work when the Senate convenes, usually from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The pages take four core classes during the semester.

The pages reside in the Daniel Webster Senate Page Residence in Webster Hall which is located on Capitol Hill.

Frugé said pages get a unique look into how Congress works.

“We get to see Senators when the microphones are off and when the cameras aren’t rolling,” he said. “We get to see the Senators more as people than politicians. We get to see them cross party lines and have friendships.”

Frugé said his biggest “takeaway” is that Senators are people first and politicians second.

While serving, pages cannot have cell phones nor Wifi access.

“It was challenging but also a really good experience,” Frugé said.

The Senate Page Program is administrated by the Sergeant at Arms, the Secretary of the Senate and the party secretaries. Pages do earn a salary while they’re serving.

From left, bottom row: Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill and Sen. Roger Wicker. Back row: Alderman Jason Bailey, Charlie Fruge and Oxford COO Bart Robinson. Photo provided

Frugé said he has always been interested in law and public policy and after his experience this past semester, he knows he wants to continue down that path for his future career; however, he’s not 100 percent sure what that path will look like.

“I still don’t know what role I want to play,” he said. “I don’t know if I want to be on the election side or on the actual government side. I don’t know if I want to be a candidate or on the operative side yet, but I do think in the future that it is the type of profession I’m looking for.”

Frugé said he is very appreciative to Sen. Wicker for providing the chance for him to serve as a page.

“He was really great in showing his staff and pages general kindness on Capitol Hill,” he said. “Pages are really a small role in a really big system but Senator Wicker, his chief, and deputy chief were all really kind and responsive to us.”