Lee students recognized for TISL achievements

Lee students recognized for TISL achievements

Pictured here (left to right) are Raquel Moskowitz, Melissa Haley, and Megan Thompson at Capitol Hill in Nashville for the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature.

Photo courtesy of Lee University's Public Relations office

Three Lee students were recently recognized for their achievements in the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL), a program that allows prestigious students to research state legislation to voice their opinions and ideas.

Raquel Moskowitz, head delegate and senior political science major, won the Carlisle Award, the most prestigious distinction given to the top 10 legislators.

Melissa Haley, freshman political science major, won the Best Senator Award, and Megan Thompson, sophomore English secondary education major, had both of her bills passed in the House and Senate. Their delegation’s bills focused on general welfare and education, according to a media release.

“I’m so proud of my delegation. We worked really hard, and it paid off,” Moskowitz said in the release. “It was awesome to see other universities look up to us, embrace our legislation and compliment our efforts, and I’m excited to see which bill become real laws in Tennessee.”

The students were sent to Nashville by Lee’s political science department and had to take either Congress or Parties and Elections taught by Dr. Steve Swindle to participate in the general assembly on Nov. 17-20, 2016.

Once the students were selected by the department, they began extensive research to craft bills and learned skillful debate, parliamentary procedure and lobbying efforts to prepare for the assembly, according to the release.

Dr. Tom Pope praised the delegation’s efforts and emphasized the importance of applying political principles outside the classroom.

“We spend quite a bit of time discussing the principles of lawmaking in political science classes, but TISL allows students to take those principles and craft legislation that will have to survive the gauntlet of democratic process,” Pope said. “We are extraordinarily proud that our students have been so successful in this enterprise.”

During the event, student representatives from colleges across Tennessee gathered in the State Capitol to introduce, debate, and vote on bills that could affect the future of the state and of the nation.

Moskowitz said “citizens have the ability to influence policy” by initiating and participating in local political meetings, rallies and other endeavors.

“I believe that it’s important for students to voice their policy concerns because change can occur at the local level,” Moskowitz said. “Politics isn’t just about voting for the president.”

TISL was created in 1966 to give college students a voice a state government. The interactive program allows students to engage in the civic process to create a community of leaders and service, according to the TISL website.

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