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Health services students to speak with state legislators

March 17, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Eleven Western Michigan University human services students have been selected to make presentations before state legislators as part of Youth Legislative Day, a statewide event March 19 that offers young people the opportunity to introduce bills, hold committee meetings and debate mock legislation on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives.

The eleven students were part of three teams chosen on the basis of their proposals, says Angelique Day, a WMU doctoral student in the interdisciplinary health sciences program, who also teaches the U.S. health policy course in WMU's undergraduate interdisciplinary health services program. Day used the competition as part of a class project.

Youth Legislative Day
WMU presenters

  • Shannon Pesch of Laingsburg, Mich.; Kelly Canton of Sand Lake, Mich.; Lindsey Weemhoff of Battle Creek, Mich.; and Kate Umbarger of Cheboygan, Mich.; wrote an analysis of Senate Bill 229, which would require random urinalysis of high school student athletes to test for anabolic steroids.

  • Tyler Skipski of Three Rivers, Mich.; Stephanie Perry-Brideau of Ravenna, Ohio; Alyssa Ringler of Grant, Mich.; and Amanda Kaspor of Highland, Mich.; who wrote an analysis of Senate Bill 279, which prohibits school districts from providing or selling soft drinks to students at school.

  • Jamie Cayanong of Kalamazoo, Mich.; Ashlee Pitt of Owosso, Mich.; and Jessica Howrigon of Plainwell, Mich.; who crafted their own bill, which establishes the need for the creation of suicide prevention programs in secondary schools.

Youth Legislative Day is a program of Voices for Michigan's Children and is being planned this year in partnership with Western Michigan University and its College of Health and Human Services and the School Based Health Alliance of Michigan.

"Youth Legislative Day provides students with hands-on experience with the Legislature," Day says. "Experiential learning opportunities like this one are the ideal way to teach hard-to-learn concepts, like writing a policy analysis. These students will remember this for the rest of their lives."

Youth Legislative Day - Agenda

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Health services students become legislators for a day

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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