MIG simulation begins Feb. 25

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Modern Illinois Government members

Tamarra Newbern, News Reporter

Modern Illinois Government (MIG) was founded by UIS and Lincoln Land Community College over 30 years ago. As the years went on, the group has grown in numbers to about 30 schools in the state. UIS has been a part of MIG since the day it was established.

Overall, MIG is a club aimed at providing students with information about Illinois’s government and exactly how it functions. Additionally, MIG encourages students to get more interested on political issues within the state.

There are about 250 members statewide at various campuses. UIS has consistently had the most members so far out of each school. Each year, MIG has 20 to 35 students who attend the meetings and go to yearly simulations.

Simulations are held in downtown Springfield. They occur this year February 25-28th. It is a conference in which schools all around the state play different type of roles within state politics, such as serving as legislators from both the house and senate, or acting as lobbyists, journalists, or officials of the executive branch.

According to Nathan Tarr, a graduate assistant in the Department of Political Science, throughout the four-day simulation, delegates converse in committees and debate upon bills on the actual Illinois House and Senate floors.

There are many benefits to joining the MIG organization at UIS, which include being able to participate in the simulations each year and having the opportunity to gain pubic speaking skills.

Tarr stated, “There are two reasons why I like MIG, and have continued to be a part of it while at UIS.  First, I was not a great public speaker when I was younger, and MIG really helped me with that. I am more confident, more knowledgeable about the issues facing Illinois, and better at articulating myself when talking about any topic.”

Therefore, MIG is a very beneficial club if you are looking to gain insight about Illinois politics and improve your communication skills.

In 2015, five UIS students won awards for their performances at the simulation event. Garrett McAlister received the Outstanding Contribution to MIG award, Michael Dahmane won the Outstanding Member of the Senate award, Duane Malany received the Outstanding Journalist award, and Andrea Carlson as well as Austin Mehmet were honored with the award for Outstanding Moot Court team.

Four additional UIS students were elected to official MIG offices. Garrie Allen IV was elected as speaker of the house, Marc Reiter was elected governor, Nathan Piper was elected as president of the senate, and David Wilson was elected treasurer.

Students interested in joining MIG can join any time throughout the year. Members will need to attend weekly meetings, which are at 9:45pm every Wednesday night; however, starting in March, meetings will be every other week.

Additionally, interested students can email advisors Dr. Ken Owen and Dr. Magic Wade for more information.