JACKSON, Tenn. – Nov. 16, 2009 – Delegates from Union University to the 40th General Assembly of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature earned the Best Delegation award for their role in the proceedings Nov. 12-15 at the State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn.
TISL is a statewide organization formed in 1966 to give college students a voice in state government. The nonpartisan organization convenes a General Assembly each year, held in the Tennessee General Assembly’s chambers, for students to introduce debate and vote on legislation about state issues.
Sixteen Union University students participated in this event, including junior Micah Roeder, who served as the TISL governor after being elected to the position last year.
“It went really well,” Roeder said. “It was somewhat interesting because I spent most of the year preparing for it and planning for it, and once I get there I can’t really do a whole lot.”
Roeder said once the General Assembly convened, he had to rely more on the work of other executive council members.
“I was more of a problem solver,” Roeder said. “My role was more laid back and making sure everything was running smoothly.”
Union sophomore Kristin Tisdale served as speaker pro tem of the Senate, and junior Ryan Hoover was chief clerk of the House. Freshman Will McClure was elected as state treasurer for next year’s event.
The Best Delegation designation is given to the group that distinguishes itself by being active during debates, presenting good bills and overall involvement in the proceedings. At the end of the session, the nine members of the executive council select the recipient of the Best Delegation from among the 37 colleges and universities represented at the assembly.
“It really is a big deal that Union’s delegation received that,” Roeder said.
Union’s delegates presented seven bills that passed both houses of the General Assembly. Among those that were passed were a bill to reduce the number of jurors in civil cases to six instead of 12, and one requiring schools in Tennessee to post photos of sex offenders in school offices.
All bills that pass both houses and that are signed into “TISL law” are then sent to the new executive council, which selects the best ones to pass along to the Tennessee General Assembly. Roeder said that TISL alumni serving in the Tennessee legislature often draft bills based on TISL legislation.
“I could almost guarantee that at least one or two of the bills we presented will be priority legislation,” Roeder said.