Six students from Tusculum College were recently in Nashville to participate in the 43rd General Assembly of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL).
“TISL is an incredible opportunity for students from colleges and universities across the state of Tennessee to represent their institutions and their communities in a mock Congressional setting,” said student Ashley Fritz, a senior political science and psychology major from Duffield, Va.
The students had the opportunity to debate and vote upon legislation they have written, participate in a moot court challenge, gain media experience and to network with the future leaders of the state and nation.
Of the participants, several are selected to serve as members of TISL’s Executive Council, which plans and helps to oversee each General Assembly. This year Tusculum student Pamela Keen, a junior political science major from Mcewen, was elected and will serve as TISL’s State Treasurer. She will oversee the TISL 44th General Assembly in 2013.
According to Fritz, TISL is also a chance for students to meet those established in careers relating to the many areas of TISL, which could lead to internship and job opportunities.
“TISL allows college students to make an impact upon actual legislation, as the top issues are passed on to the actual Tennessee state legislature for consideration,” she said. “Click it or Ticket” is an example of a piece of legislation that had its start in this manner before it became an actual law.
Tusculum College was one of 39 institutions to participate this year, with some schools sending as many or more than 16 students, Tusculum’s six student representatives managed to stand out. In addition to Keen, Fritz served as a member of the TISL media, earning a lead story for three of the five issues of the TISL Times. Michael Fernando, a freshman economics and accounting major from Sri Lanka, participated in the House of Representatives, where he received accolades for his debating prowess.
Trevor Long, a junior political science major from Atkins, Va., served in the Senate and earned attention for his sponsorship of bills. Caitlin Curtis, a sophomore business and history major from Sharps Chapel, was chosen to serve as a Deputy Clerk and Marshall and had the opportunity to experience numerous aspects of the judicial processes of the Tennessee Intercollegiate Supreme Court (TISC).
Tusculum College Student Government Association President Steven Hollingshead, a junior economics and political science major from Memphis, stood out as an exceptional lobbyist, as nearly every bill for which he lobbied passed.