Breaking News Bar

Fowler's student council digs into policy, crafting legislation

  • SIU Chancellor Austin Lane was one of four speakers at the Student Advisory Council meeting.

    SIU Chancellor Austin Lane was one of four speakers at the Student Advisory Council meeting.
    Courtesy of office of State Sen. Dale Fowler

Submitted by the office of State Sen. Dale Fowler
updated: 12/18/2021 12:50 PM

State Sen. Dale Fowler hosted nearly 60 students from 15 high schools on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale this month, as a part of his annual Student Advisory Council.

The day featured four speakers who hold community roles in the 59th Senate District: SIU Chancellor Austin Lane; Metropolis alderman/SIU sophomore Dylan Chambers; Goreville Superintendent of Schools Steve Webb (the 2021 Illinois Superintendent of the Year); and Jeff McGoy, SIU director of exploratory student advisement and the Center for Learning and Support Services.

"Honestly, the whole process is what I learned. I had no idea how most of this stuff worked and I came in completely blind about it," said Addison Bean, a senior at Gallatin County High School. "It is important for our youth to be involved in Illinois government because we are the future and we will be the voice of the state one day."

After hearing from the motivational speakers, students were broken up into small groups to discuss policy issues and craft legislative proposals to present in front of their peers.

After the legislative proposals were presented, students asked questions and voted on their favorite policy issue presented by their peers.

The winning student policy idea will be drafted into legislation for the students to discuss during the spring Student Advisory Council at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

"This is one of my favorite events of the year," Fowler said. "The younger generation is the future and it's important that they gain a better understanding about the legislative process and experience government first hand."