Delegates to MIG 2021 faced an uncertain new world as Model Illinois Government convened entirely virtually for the first time in its 43-year history.
This year’s Executive Board faced significant challenges in how to create a simulation adapted to “the new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously capturing the essence of the debates and arguments delegates have come to know and love through MIG.
Those challenges, however, did not daunt 10 dedicated candidates who embraced the challenge of leading the organization we all love into an uncertain new era.
Find the full slate of election results below:
Senate President Dan Fogarty captured the title of highest office in Model Illinois Government for 2022 and will serve as the organization’s next Governor.
Fogarty is a fourth-year delegate who served as Majority Leader in the Senate for two years before his election as Senate President last year.
While Fogarty acknowledged the uncertainty that lies ahead for the organization, he said that will have no effect on his plans to uplift new delegates in MIG to allow them to share the same experience he has enjoyed in his years as a delegate.
“I know that it’s obvious that this year of MIG was a struggle,” Fogarty said. “I know that every board member worked to make sure MIG could stay on its feet this year.
“I want MIG to start running again. I want MIG to grow, and become better each and every year going forward,” he added.
Mackenzi Matthews of University of Illinois Springfield’s delegation won the election for Attorney General. Matthews is a fourth-year delegate who is also no stranger to leadership roles in the organization. She previously served as Speaker of the House in 2019 and House Majority Leader for the past two years.
Central to her campaign platform, Matthews promised an overhaul of the MIG Original Legislation guidelines and handbook, which have been in place since 2017.
“I have worked hard on OL formatting, and one of my first actions as Attorney General would be to update the OL Handbook,” Matthews said.
In addition to her own experience writing OLs to guide her, Matthews touted her experience working as a staff writer for the UIS Journal that would be key to improving the MIG Journal and Journalist roles in the future.
Matthews also acknowledged the tough challenges that lie ahead for the organization, but promised a full effort an commitment to return MIG to the same level of excitement and involvement present for in-person simulations.
“This year has been tough on all of us and it will take a lot of work to get MIG back to normal,” Matthews said. “I am willing to commit the time and energy it will take to reach this goal.”
In one of the tightest EBoard elections this year, second-year delegate Nicolette Allen of Prairie State College won election as MIG’s next Secretary of State responsible for registration of delegates and carrying out elections.
Allen served in the Senate this year and cited her leadership in a variety of roles on Prairies State College’s campus as her most qualifying attributes for her election this year. Allen is involved as a student leader with TRIO and One Million Degrees, organizations dedicated to uplifting students from all backgrounds.
“I believe that my experience will help this governing body achieve our goals while also allowing me to gain a deeper understanding of the everyday functions of Illinois state government,” Allen said.
Second-year delegate and Senator Marcia Huerta-Pazos of Prairie State College won election as Treasurer for Model Illinois Government this year. Huerta-Pazos is a political science and chemistry major, and said that MIG has allowed her to “get out of my bubble, and speak out on what I truly believe in and stand for,” something that she would like to enable other delegates to achieve as they take part in MIG.
“I would like to help other first year MIG attendees feel the same way and develop the same confidence in themselves, while also providing them an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and gain valuable experience in collaborating with each other, reading and understanding bills, and discovering their political stances along the way,” she said.
Second-year delegate Callie Oxford of Southeastern Illinois College won her election for Comptroller of Model Illinois Government. Oxford served as Assistant Minority Leader in the Senate this year, and said she is ready and willing to take a more active role in leading the delegates of MIG.
Oxford said the experience of writing an OL with significant personal meaning to her and seeing it pass with unanimous support in both chambers last year pushed her to allow others to share in what MIG is all about.
“That feeling of knowing that I have the potential to help others and possibly even change lives, made me fall in absolute love with MIG and politics,” Oxford said. “I am beyond thankful for the relationships and the experience Model Illinois Government has given me.”
Third-year delegate Aislinn Diaz will bring her extensive resume of Senate leadership to the chamber’s well next year. Diaz has served as a Senate Committee Chair for two consecutive years and served as Senate Majority Leader this year.
Diaz is current President of the Student Government Association on campus at UIS, and said that her extensive leadership and parliamentary skills will allow her to excel in the role of Senate President.
“I have seen three different senate leaderships and have observed and learned from them on what works and what does not, along with what needs to change,” Diaz said.
“I hope to take what I have learned and help create a simulation experience that everyone will learn and have fun with,” Diaz added.
Third-year delegate Connor Krater of U of I Springfield took the election for Speaker of the House. While he served in the Senate this year, Krater cited his three years of experience as a committee spokesperson as the primary qualification to lead his fellow delegates in the House chamber.
“I value the participation and opportunities that simulation provides, and I want to help ensure that the house chamber, and simulation, can run smoothly to continue to be a memorable event,” Krater said.
“I have many fond memories of simulation and could only happen because of a dedicated, experienced, and optimistic administration, and I intend to be a part of such an administration,” Krater added.