METNWS-12-23-21 Fowler's Student Advisory Council_photo

Joppa High School students (at top left table) were among those participating in State Sen. Dale Fowler's annual Student Advisory Council, which was held in person Dec. 9, on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

CARBONDALE — State Sen. Dale Fowler hosted nearly 60 students from 15 high schools Thursday, Dec. 9, on the campus of Southern Illinois University Carbondale as a part of his annual Student Advisory Council. 

“This is one of my favorite events of the year,” said Fowler. “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.”

The meeting was the first time in over a year the council has met in person. Due to COVID-19 restrictions during the past school year, the council was held virtually.

The day featured four speakers who hold community roles in the 59th Senate District — Dylan Chambers, Metropolis alderman and SIU sophomore; Dr. Steve Webb, Goreville superintendent; Austin Lane, SIU chancellor; and Jeff McGoy, SIU director of Exploratory Student Advisement and the Center for Learning and Support Services,

“I’m proud to be a part of the list that have spoken today,” said Chambers, 19, the president of the SIU Dawg Pound and the youngest serving alderman in the City of Metropolis’ history. “It is great to be around high school students and give that voice to them and show them what I have done no matter the age.” 

After hearing from the motivational speakers, students were broken 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 were able to ask questions and vote 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. 

Students participating were from: Anna-Jonesboro Community High School; Carrier Mills-Stonefort High School; Cobden High School; Eldorado High School; Frankfort Community High School; Galatia High School; Gallatin High School; Gallatin County High School; Goreville High School; Harrisburg High School; Johnston City High School; Joppa High School; Massac County High School; Sesser-Valier High School; and Vienna High School.

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