Students Run the State

Mikalya Havison, Copy Editor

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The State Government is a great place for politically oriented students to get involved. From paging and youth councils, to internships later on, the State Government has a variety of opportunities for student involvement.

One of the easiest ways to get involved in the State Government is through their Senate or House of Representatives paging programs. These programs are easy to apply to and allow students to have a government excused day from school, where they learn about the State Government and then sit in on session.

In addition to activities about the processes of the State Government, students also get to meet their senator, deliver notes to senators and discuss with interns, who have behind the scenes access to the roles of government officials.

“I encourage Homestead Students to call your State Senator or State Representative, I also encourage students to become a page and see the wonderful State Government at work,” Nicholas Elchert (12), a student who participated in the paging program said.   

Apart from learning about the State Government, students can also have an impact on the State Government’s legislation by applying for the Indiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council. Also known as ILYAC, the group is composed of 22 college and highschool students across the state, who work together to create a report for the general assembly on legislation related to the youth.

For example, last year, ILYAC endorsed bills that prioritized school supplies for juvenile detention centers, mental health in schools, ending child pornography and increased bus safety.

Students also have the power to influence the State Government by working on State Government campaigns. Although State General Assembly elections do not get the same attention as federal elections, they still are important and often can use extra hands, something that allows students to have a voice in the political sphere. It can also be a valuable experience for students who hope to go into politics themselves.

Former Homestead student and now PFW student, Brandon Blumenherst now plays a role in politics, having worked on campaigns for both Courtney Tritch, a candidate for the federal level Senate and Kyle Miller, a candidate for the state’s general assembly.

“Homestead did a great job preparing me for life at college, but it also prompted me to develop

important life skills which helped me stay on top of projects related to the campaign,” Blumenherst said.

Despite a lot of the focus being on the federal government, there are many opportunities on the local and state levels for students to get involved in.

“Political parties and candidates are always looking for input and volunteers, so if you’d like to add to the conversation or work for candidates, there are always opportunities,” Blumenherst said.

Students can also get involved in politics by joining either Young Americans for Freedom or Young Progressives, the two political groups at the school.

Additionally, We the People, a class offered at the school, provides students with the opportunity to do research and present on various levels of government, including the state level.

The media often focuses on the federal government’s impact on the American people. Even in schools, the federal government is a main focus for teaching; however, the State Government is up to work of its own.

The Ind. State Government is only in session for two or four months out of the year, depending on if the State is redoing the budget; however, during this time a lot is done, which has the power to impact students.

In fact, more than half of Indiana’s budget goes towards K-12 education, making it the state which provides the third most amount of money towards improving education.

Although, the State Government has the ability to use their power educational power for the better, such as providing school supplies and resources to schools in need, they can also have a negative impact on students.

For example, last year, the graduation requirements were changed, starting with the class of 2023; however, many school systems were against the change. As of 2023, the government will have to review the law and its impact on students.

The State Government can impact students in many ways, but students can also have an equal impact on the state. With cooperation between the two, government and students can make a state that works.

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