Millikin’s Model Illinois Government Students Head to the Illinois State Capitol In the Moot Court competition, a Big Blue team finished second overall

DECATUR, Ill. – Students in the Model Illinois Government (MIG) and Moot Court recently traveled to Springfield to participate in the 2023 State MIG Conference. MIG students got to debate on the floor of the House of Representatives in the Illinois State Capitol for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.Model Illinois Government is an organization that simulates the legislative and executive branches of state government at a competition each spring. The organization aims to get people involved and aware of what occurs in politics in all branches of the government.

Millikin's Olivia Swords won Most Outstanding Moot Court Attorney.

Olivia was honored with the Most Outstanding Moot Court Attorney award, the highest individual award given at the competition.

Also competing were Moot Court teams made up of sophomore Political Science major Jadon Cox, junior Philosophy Pre-Law major Avery Damron, sophomore Finance major Sophia Howell, junior Finance major James Raycraft, junior Criminal Justice major Ernest Davis and junior Philosophy Pre-Law major Kayla Green. 

Additionally, two Millikin students served as Moot Court student justices. Philosophy major Collin Budd served as the Chief Justice of MIG and junior Philosophy Pre-Law major Albiona Veliu was a justice. 

“Overall, our students worked extremely hard in advance of and during the competition to construct and deliver sophisticated legal arguments. Their talents were on display, and they worked continuously to improve their arguments over the course of the competition,” Dr. Robert Money, Philosophy Dept. Chair & Pre-Law Director said. “The results speak for themselves. It is an honor to work with such bright, motivated students.” 

Model Illinois Government Millikin students in Model Illinois Government competed in the Illinois State Capitol.

“To prepare, the students read actual legislation that the House and Senate are debating, and they prepare bill summaries that analyze their position,” Political Science Associate Professor Dr. Laura Dean said. “They prepare speeches, have mock debates in class using parliamentary procedure and learn all the ins and outs of politics from party ideologies to what certain party leaders do to facilitate political debate.”

The MIG Moot Court competition simulates arguments at the Illinois Supreme Court level and judicial branch of government. During the competition, teams of attorneys argue their cases before a panel of student justices and legal professionals.

Four teams from Millikin competed in the Moot Court competition, and the team consisting of junior Business Management major McKenna O’Donnell and sophomore Philosophy Pre-Law major Olivia Swords advanced to the final round, taking second place overall at the competition.

Millikin's Harris Dorgan (standing) gives a speech during a Senate Committee hearing.

Nine Millikin students participated in the MIG competition, with junior Political Science majors Gabby Watson and Rhys Deiter holding executive board positions. Gabby served as Comptroller and Rhys was the Comptroller’s Staff Member. 

Both MIG and Moot Court offer excellent Performance Learning opportunities for Millikin students, who get an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the experiences of legal and political leaders in the State Capitol while performing state government. 

“MIG is unique in this country and not many states have mock government competitions for college students, let alone participating in a conference debating real bills and stepping into the shoes of legislators,” Dr. Dean said. “Those types of experiences get the students to think more deeply about the issues that face our government. They are real legislators, giving speeches and asking questions. Writing their own original legislation for debate.”