At the end of March, a group of MPS students traveled to Lansing to represent the MPS delegation at the Michigan YMCA Youth in Government Conference. The conference was a five day, action packed legislature session. Students were required to use parliamentary procedure and conduct themselves as if they were actually a member of the Michigan Legislature.
To make this experience even more surreal, students traveled to the Michigan Capitol Building and had the opportunity to conduct House and Senate sessions in the chambers. This makes them the only student group in the state of Michigan with access to the chamber floors.
Students were given the chance to experience real government situations without the introduction of political parties. During the session, over 100 bills were debated in committees of about 10 students and if they passed through the committee, they had the opportunity to be debated with all the House and Senate students. If the bills passed through both the House and Senate, they were taken to the MYIG governor, senior Lauren Courtney of Rochester Adams High School where they could be signed and therefore have the opportunity to be presented before the actual Michigan Legislature.
Junior Sophia Bagnall from MHS had her National Issues Forum passed through all committees and will be having her proposal taken with the Michigan delegation going to the Conference On National Affairs in June. Also, the students witnessed a protest against sending troops to Afghanistan.
One of the protesters, who only identified himself as Garrett has been acting passionately for quite a while.
“We’re trying to stop war and other things,” Garrett said. “Actually, we started in 2011 so this is our third year of being out here every Friday from 12 to one to protest.”
During the conference, junior Hobie Fisher from MHS ran and was elected the 2014-2015 Youth Governor. Fisher was also awarded best committee chair in the red legislature Bagnall, was awarded the best proposal for NIF at the conference.
Junior Andrew Morley thoroughly enjoyed his experience this year at YIG.
“It was cool,” Morley said. “We showed up with almost no preparation and almost all of us left with substantial accomplishments and better public speaking skills.
The MPS YIG delegation is currently looking for interested students to join next year and represent MPS at next year’s conference.