For the past two days, PCA junior and senior students took part in a unique event entitled, Student Statesmanship Institute. This annual event dates back almost 20 years at PCA and has its beginnings from the passion of one PCA parent, Mr. John Losen. Mr. Losen believed it was incredibly important for PCA students to understand their government, the legislative process and integrate that with a biblical worldview. Mr. Losen, along with PCA teacher, Mr. Kelly Gilette, brought the Student Statesmanship Institute (SSI) to PCA.
During this two-day event, students are introduced to actual bills that have been debated in Lansing. They are assigned to caucus committees and instructed to develop arguments either for or against the bills. Their arguments may not be their actual beliefs, but they learn to think critically through this process.
On the second morning of the event, “lobbyists” attend SSI for the morning, and speak to the student committees, arguing their positions. We had a record number of lobbyists this year and are grateful to each one who took time out of their schedules to make this process as true to life as possible for our students.
The event culminates with the students taking the “floor” of the legislature and arguing their positions in front of their peers. Fellow legislators vote to pass or deny the bills. The debates become quite passionate at times, providing the opportunity for public speaking and critical thinking skills to be further sharpened.
We are grateful to the leadership and staff at SSI and to the PCA staff who made this program possible this year!