Michigan Youth in Government Holds Primary Elections
On October 4th, The University of Michigan-Flint hosted Michigan Youth and Government’s (YIG) southeast primary election. Around 150 high schoolers gathered inside a conference hall to elect candidates into positions for the early and late YIG conferences held in Lansing, MI.
YIG, is a middle school and high school program that lets students explore the concepts of state government. Participants join a delegation that’s in there county and learn about things like parliamentary procedure, writing bills, running debates, and more. During the early and late conferences, delegations come together to run a simulated Legislative, Judicial and Press Corp simulations. YIG’s main focus is on the legislative branch, allowing delegates to sit in the state capitals senate and house rooms while debating on student written bills.
The positions being voted on were: Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the house, Governor for early and late conference, and senator. Candidates made three minute rounds to each delegation trying to earn votes. After every delegation had a feeling for each of the candidates, one last meeting is held to test the candidates parliamentary procedure and make their final statements.
Once the votes were entered in and winners were announced, cheers broke out in the crowd from delegations showing their support to their peers. There were many qualified candidates for each position, but the most important position as well as the most competitive was Governor. In the end Geoffrey Qin was selected to campaign as early conference governor and Tramel Tinsley as a contender for late conference governor.
“This win means to me, a chance to really represent and bring diversity to Michigan Youth in Government; Not only in terms of race, but also sexual orientation and different ideas to represent us,” Qin said.
Any high school students who live in Washtenaw County, looking to learn more about government, are 100 percent encouraged to join the Washtenaw County Delegation; Meetings are on Mondays at 6:45 at The Ann Arbor YMCA. It can be a little nerve-racking at first to join a group that appears to know everything about government, but the truth is everyone is learning and making mistakes all of the time.
Ella Castanier, a three year YIG member, has a passion for government and wants the Washtenaw Delegation to keep expanding with new members.
“I think in Washtenaw County a lot of youth are really involved in activism, but not a lot of youth have the opportunity to actually participate in a government simulation program,” Castanier said. “I think this is just a really unique opportunity to actually see what it’s like to be in government rather than just influencing government.”
For more information about joining YIG, head to their website: https://myig.org