Archive for Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunflower Girls State gives participants experience in governmental functions

June 3, 2012

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Free State senior-to-be Kerrie Leinmiller-Renick, center, shares a laugh with members of her city while they decide which governmental positions each will take as they participate in Sunflower Girls State on Sunday at Kansas University’s Ellsworth Hall.

Free State senior-to-be Kerrie Leinmiller-Renick, center, shares a laugh with members of her city while they decide which governmental positions each will take as they participate in Sunflower Girls State on Sunday at Kansas University’s Ellsworth Hall.

High school girls from around the state line one of the hallways in Ellsworth Hall as they play games to get to know each other.

High school girls from around the state line one of the hallways in Ellsworth Hall as they play games to get to know each other.

The 250 or so girls were there to form governments, vote for leaders and create laws.

But the chatter in the early stages of the 73rd annual Sunflower Girls State hinted that the civic-minded teens would also be having some fun during the six-day event.

“OK, we need a mischief-maker,” said one member of the fictional city of Kaskakia, meeting on the seventh floor of Ellsworth Hall on the Kansas University campus.

For pranks, of course.

“I had no idea at first what this was,” said Kerrie Leinmiller-Renick, who just finished up her junior year at Free State High School. “I expect a lot of fun.”

The event invites girls from the across the state who have finished their junior year of high school to gather for a wide variety of government-related activities.

It would be a chance to learn about state politics and add another line on the resume and college applications, said Ashyln Evans, also a Free State senior-to-be. Evans has been involved in a Model United Nations program through her school for years, and was encouraged by her mom, who also attended Girls State, to sign up.

Evans and the other girls will vie for a wide variety of elected positions through the week. She’s considering a run for lieutenant governor.

Raquel Dominquez, a Bishop Seabury Academy student, was thinking about running for one of the supreme court justice positions. Today, she’ll be taking a bar exam of sorts to make sure she’ll qualify. It fits in line with her career goal of becoming a lawyer.

Dominquez said she expects a tough race for the position, but “it’ll be a great experience either way.”

Dominquez decided to attend Girls State after a recommendation from a friend who attended the program a couple years ago.

“It opened a lot of doors for her,” Dominquez said.

Comments

Alceste 2 years, 11 months ago

It's amusing how there is not mention one of what entity controls "Sunflower Girls State". It's the Kansas American Legion Auxiliary aka American Legion (Period).

It purports itself to be "...a leading veteran's service organization.....". Piffle.

The dice are loaded; the fix is in; the game is rigged. "Sunflower Girls State" isn't the "patriotic" outfit it claims itself to be. It is fraught with Right Wing, Commie fighting, rights of any sort bashing, ultra conservative non-sense. "Getting to go to the show" isn't as easy as it's made out to be, nor is it the least bit egalitarian.

Alceste does not forget that after returning from Viet Nam, following 2 combat tours; a couple or three scratches here and there; a citation or two, blah, blah, blah that Alceste's first job was to wash dishes up at that very same dorm....Ellsworth Hall....for......drums rolling.....that's right.....Girl's State. However, it was determined on the 4th day of 0500 reporting for duty that Alceste was given yet another set of "go scre* yourself" walking papers by "patriotic types" (the first set being from Uncle Sugar himself......hero one day, bum the next....) and was summarily fired for.....gasp......having long hair. The fact Alceste had only been back from 'Nam less than 3 mos never entered the equation. "They" didn't care......"they" just did their "patriotic duty". Such wonderful home comings are never forgotten.

Girls State is what it is....a prissy party that teaches zilch and is just a meal ticket for the American Legion boss types. shrug

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

Thanks for your service Alceste, whether you want it or not.

Whether left or right, I think we need to see more diverse representation in government. While I may be an old beige guy, I think we have too many old beige guys running our country. Alceste may be right concerning the backers of this activity, but there is nothing that say's what side of the aisle these young ladies may sit on someday. I was as liberal as bozo in my early 20s, but later in life have changed some views. These girls will probably do the same.

I'm a cynical old guy but I hope and expect the girls are learning the mechanics of government and not party-line ideology. Maybe it's just an illusion, but I see a glimmer of hope whenever I see a younger person take an interest in politics. I wish I had at their age.

loosecaboose 2 years, 11 months ago

A lot of our people came back from Nam to horrible experiences. The American Legion was one of the few organizations to be of service to them, as was the VFW. To Alceste, because of the rotten treatment he received, he seems to have become bitter, and unable to be patriotic even to this day, as many other Nam vets, and we can see why. We in the American Legion have worked for all the years since Nam to right the wrongs, as has the Auxilliary. We are still working with vets who have served since then and will continue to help our people returning from service around the world as best we can. Yes we are patriotic, and yes we fly our flag and the POW-MIA flag proudly, and are proud of the young people who attend Boys State and Girls State to learn how our government works so that we might avoid the experience that Alceste had by learning from the past.

Alceste 2 years, 11 months ago

BullRoar! Post the budget of the Kansas American Legion and the "Auxillary". What % of the budget goes to pay carpetbaggers to post this manner of non-sense on a message board? Dare ya!

Liberty275: Ya think they're "teaching" the chirren the REAL way government works....as in "Pay yourself first" as Kansas legislators have done with their KPERS payoff?; "Always make deals behind closed doors"; "Cheat whenever it is possible and you are certain you can get away with it"; "Pay yourself first" (a theme); "Tax the poor and fuel the wealthy"; etc., etc., etc.

Ain't no justice. Just us.

Liberty275 2 years, 11 months ago

Like I said, I hope they are learning the mechanics, not which side to pick or as you noted, the corruption. At least they can't be any worse than the scoundrels we have now. I think we have hit the bottom of the barrel at all levels.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 11 months ago

Maybe Alceste got fired from his dish washing job because they were freaked out by having someone speaking of themselves in the third person. Maybe Alceste only thinks it had to do with the length of his hair, after all, how long could it have been after being out of the service for only three months. Maybe "they" thought Alceste's frequent references to "they" was a little paranoid and not someone they felt comfortable being around a bunch of teenage girls. At least that's how jhawkinsf sees it.

Alceste 2 years, 11 months ago

Alceste is going to focus on the American Legion for the moment. Here we have a recent post from this here very Ljworld.com site (because a shill for the American Legion has decided income as at risk from that do nothing outfit; and Alceste had actually made a sortie into VFW and AL land, only to be told the same thing BigAl notes below):

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/may/30/50-years-too-late/#c2055992

"BigAl(anonymous) says… I too was scorned when I returned. It was so bad that a couple of us Vietnam vets were actually asked to leave an American Legion post because we "weren't welcome there". Two WWII vets walked over to where we were having a cold beer and they asked us to leave. I am over it but time hasn't healed all the wounds. There are a lot of stories like that.

"I realize some of you don't understand but to those of us that lived it do understand. Some of you want to make it political but it wasn't liberal or conservative, it was widespread. I assure you, the two fellas that asked us to leave the Legion were not liberal.

"By the way, I will never join the American Legion but I support the troops with donations, time and prayer.

"Also, as a Vietnam vet, just leave me alone. I have dealt with it and am getting along fine."

Let's focus, now, on this singular paragraph, American Legion and VFW "patriots" everywhere: "It was so bad that a couple of us Vietnam vets were actually asked to leave an American Legion post because we "weren't welcome there". Two WWII vets walked over to where we were having a cold beer and they asked us to leave. I am over it but time hasn't healed all the wounds. There are a lot of stories like that."

And the above is what the American Legion imparts to both the Girls State and Boys State operations: stay with the herd; graze in groups; be tolerant not of diverse thinking; etc. shrug

HappyMedium 2 years, 11 months ago

I attended Girls State 21 years ago. It was a wonderful experience. Politically speaking, I'm about as left as you can get in these parts, and I can tell you that I don't remember any political proselytizing of any kind. We were a bunch of girls hanging out, making signs, trying to get elected to positions in the same kind of way we tried to get elected to student council at school. After our "elections", we got to ride in a bus to the state capital and sit in our elected seats. I made many acquaintances, and even some friends out of that experience that I kept in contact with for some time. And amazingly, I made an african-american friend, which I never would have made in my hometown because blacks didn't EXIST there. It was awesome to meet so many amazing girls. We were all pretty outgoing and no doubt we were all very different -- but while there for such a short time, we just hung out and enjoyed each other's company. I honestly don't remember discussing any actual political issues of the time....it was more a discussion about growing up, being educated (going to college, etc.), having goals, and actually participating in our society as good citizens, responsible people, and even leaders. I grew up to do all of those things. I don't know what Girls State is like now, but that's what it was like back then.

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