Trip to Austin gives Youth and Government glimpse of state government

Trisha Dasgupta, Staff Reporter

Youth and Government traveled down to Austin on Thursday for their annual state conference that featured a weekend of debate, bills, and proposals. 

“I think [Youth and Government] is a good experience because the students not only have exposure to how the government runs, but they also build a lot of confidence in themselves and their abilities to speak in public and debate in a very unbiased way.” AP U.S. History and American Studies teacher Emily Griffin said. “I think that being exposed to so many different schools gives them exposure to different opinions and environments that they don’t necessarily have in Frisco. So that kind of diverse experience is good for shaping a lot of character as well as professionalism.”

Students spent two days debating various bills written by fellow debaters from across the state, an experience that sophomore Aryan Samal believes is invaluable.

“It definitely makes me a better debater because I just met so many new people, and I learned how other people debate,” Samal said. “I think that you take that all in and you apply it to yourself which helps you to have more goals on how you want to debate, because seeing other people influences you and makes you want to become better.”

Participating in a mock legislature, students get the unique opportunity of getting to debate in the real House and Senate Chambers in the Capitol building. 

“Sitting in the House of Representatives is probably like the coolest experience ever,” sophomore Aleeza Hussain said. “Just sitting there makes you feel like your words and what you have to say is important and you’re taken more seriously.”

Competing against nearly a hundred other students, first-year delegate sophomore Tarini Pankati was one of three school delegates to win an award.

“I just think it was a representation of how hard I worked even though this is my first year,” Pankati said. “I really do love our club and what it’s about and I got to put in a lot of hard work this year to become a lot better. I think it just means a lot to me knowing that my hard work is really paid off.”

While students spend most of their time debating, the state conference also provides a chance to have fun and socialize with friends. 

“I think that the mixture of hanging out with friends, the delegation dinner, and the banquet combined with the experience and chance of debating at the Texas State Capitol with delegates from all around Texas, helps you make a lot of new memories and experiences,” Hussain said. “You also meet a lot of new people that you would have never met if you hadn’t gone, so you make connections and overall, it’s just a great experience.”