Letter to the Editor
To the Senior Play students –
The “Saturday Night” came alive. It was filled with movement and a lot of “jive”.
The students all did their part; and you could tell it came from their heart.
A good job was done by all; Thanks for the entertainment, you answered the call.
As you all head for “new life”; it will be filled with challenge and strife
But as you all do your part;
I wish you good luck, this wish comes from my heart.
YIG. WOW. What an amazing learning experience. YIG. Are you a former Yigger? Do you know what YIG is? Well let me let you in on a little secret. YIG stands for Youth in Government. Ya still not sure what it is? That’s ok ‘cause I am going to tell you a little bit about it.
Youth in Government is an opportunity for students from grades 7 through 12 to experience what it’s like to actually run our State’s Legislature. Students from around the state of Michigan gather together for 5 days at the State Capitol building in Lansing and actually write, review, amend, and vote on bills that may or may not become law. These “young” adults gather together, elect a Governor, hold seats in the House and Senate, while other students are Lobbyists,
Electronic Press Editors, and a number of other key members that you may see if you were to observe our Michigan State Legislature in session. Some students were even involved in mock jury trials.
Before our students gathered in our State Capitol building’s Senate or House Chambers, they were broken into either a Senate or House “committee” where they reviewed several bills by discussing the strong points and weak points of a particular bill. They listened to lobbyists. They amended bills and even “killed” bills that they realized were just plain nonsense.
The work is hard but the benefits of attending this event far outweigh the amount of work that these students put into it. The bills that are signed by the YIG Governor may actually be sent to Michigan’s Governor to be reviewed. Sometimes bills that the students pass through YIG become laws in the state of Michigan.
I also played a small part in this amazing event. I was a Committee Advisor. I had the opportunity to see these students in action and I am truly amazed by these “young adults” who attended YIG. They displayed intelligence, dedication, and strong work ethic. They were / are educated and were prepared beyond my expectations. There was no mudslinging or voting due to “party” lines. There did not seem to be any party affiliation. The students voted on issues using common sense and the philosophy of trying to make laws work for every individual; of course realizing not everyone will be happy with a particular outcome.
YIG was not just work, work, work. The attendees had a wonderful dinner the last night they were there. They performed in a talent show and later that same night, they danced, danced, and danced.
I truly hope that some of these young, bright, passionate individuals pursue a career in government/ politics. We need new, young blood with new ideas and young adults that are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and try something new. Something that will allow people in other states to say, “Look how great Michigan is doing!”
In closing, I would like to say “THANK YOU” to all who made it possible for our students from Big Bay de Noc School to attend this amazing program. Unfortunately, is does cost approximately $500 per student to attend. And we did a lot of fund raising.
This year, the March YIG conference broke the attendance record, 900 students in all. 100 students were from the U.P. with another 800 students from lower Michigan. I believe in our younger generation. I believe they want to see changes that will help all of us, not just a select few. I believe they want to become educated on how our government works. You don’t have to choose a career path in politics to attend YIG, you just have to care about your future.
Big Bay de Noc School
The ever pressing plague of genocide is a topic that sparks my interest. This is not because I find it interesting that people kill each other every day for land, power, and to merely be the superior ethnicity; it is because I would like to know why. Why is it ok for human beings to torture, rape, and slaughter each other because of a difference in skin color or a difference in what they worship? Why is it ok for a child’s life to be taken? I believe that the answer is it is not ok, but why has mankind not learned from the past and put a stop to it? Now I am not so naive to think that someday the world will be a completely peaceful place with no controversy and no unnatural death, but I do feel that genocide is a term that could be wiped away.
It’s a crazy believe in today’s world to feel that genocide could be wiped away, but is it really that crazy? In my research of a single case of ethnic cleansing, every article and book with a story about it, there is one part that sticks in my mind and keeps me thinking, worrying about when it will occur again. In 1993 economic sanctions had already been put on the Bosnian Serb troops by the United Nations, and peacekeepers were within the country trying to bring aid. The Bosnian Serbs continued to slaughter thousands of innocent people because they knew that the United Nations and the European Community wouldn’t intervene militarily to stop them. “Through error, misjudgment, and an inability to recognize the scope of the evil confronting us, we failed to do our part to save the people of Srebrenica from the Serb campaign of mass murder (Peace Pledge Union Information: Genocide),” this statement by a former UN official proves that it was not in the fault of the people in the war, but of the global community to not recognize a call for help. THAT IS SCARY! That is exactly what is going on in the DR of Congo with the War criminals who remain walking around freely in broad day light! These malicious people are not having any penalties for their actions.
The situation today is just as prevalent as it was during the Holocaust or the Bosnian genocide. The causation remains that there is not enough knowledge of the issue. Think about it: during the Holocaust the European community basically gave the Sudetenland to Hitler so to “not cause any conflict”. And did he stop after that? NO, he continued to take the rest of Czechoslovakia along with Poland then went on to create one of the greatest atrocities ever known to modern day history. The Bosnian Serb army was the same situation, where the UN peacekeepers were in the country but did not take action to prevent because they had to remain neutral. Look how the problem escalated! Africa is the same, but worse. Genocide has been going on for the past twenty years and many communities have been destroyed. How many more lives must be taken, women raped, men tortured, and childhoods destroyed to genocide before the international community says enough? That is my real concern. I’m not sure how to stop it, and no one really does, but action must be taken before it goes any further. To learn more visit stopgenocidenow.org, a website dedicated to change the world view and response to genocide.