Cougar Politics

(Pictured from left to right) Top: Cheryl Harvey, Olivia Ulrich, Courtney Privia; Bottom: Chase Carter, Corey Allen, Adair Rodriquez.

A select few, only the best among us, were prepared to perform. Weeks upon months of research, training, and debate had gone into the selection process. Only the sharpest minds (and dressers) would be able to take the represent our hopeful collective. Last weekend, under the watchful supervision of their professor, 13 of these students participated in a simulation that many hope will shape the future of our state for the better.

Though some may call the fanfare dramatic, the tradition they participated in represents over 40 years of giving the leaders of tomorrow a public forum and a practical setting to test their ideals against their equally-willed contemporaries.

In a weekend-long series of activities, a delegation of Student Government Association members and other invested students visited the state capital to join in Model Illinois Government. Accompanied by their advisor Jonathor Parker, these 13 ambitious students meet with hundreds of others to take the House and Senate floors to perform in a mock government. With all of the debating, lobbying, and voting that their official counterparts enjoy.


Not pictured are Senator Valerie Thomas, House Representatives Ed Roeder, Samantha Baumgartner, August Ganson, Blake Nelson, David Herenandez, Quest Dobbelaire, and advisor Jonathon Parker.

Lasting from the last weekend of February to the first day of March, this year’s annual MIG competition marked the 42nd of its kind. Since 1978, collegiate students have pilgrimaged to the Capitol Building to debate proposed legislation amongst themselves. This year was no exception, although, students got to simulate lawmakers in the Old State Capitol Building. Adding a bit of historic flair to the experience.

In addition to evaluating and passing laws, participants could join the court system, act as journalists and lobbyists, or be elected to executive positions within the simulation, such as Governor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer. Interested individuals can campaign at the social and networking events throughout the weekend with elections being held during the last day of the session.

According to a February 25th press release, this year’s Model Illinois Government Executive Board was comprised of over half a dozen students from colleges and universities across the state.

At the end of the session, post-simulation awards are also handed out to the best politicians of the series. This includes awards for the House and Senate, the Best Committee Chair, and the best piece of original legislation among many others.

Needless to say, the experience is definitely a resumé builder, but recognition through awards and networking with other collegiate students are other benefits to going.

At ICC, the Model Illinois Government delegation was sponsored by the Student Government Association, the organization responsible for changing and updating the policy here at ICC. Just because they sponsor the simulation, doesn’t mean you have to be a member to go, as the MIG event was open to all students, regardless of major or political affiliation.

Coincidentally enough, March 25 & 26, SGA will be holding elections for their own Executive Board and Trustees positions. You can vote in-person in the East Peoria Atrium or online options are available.

All students are encouraged to vote, as your voice can make a difference in our everyday campus life. For more information, contact Student Life and ask how you can make a difference.