A “Government” People Actually Like
The Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature (TISL) is an entirely student-run, annual mock government conference held in Nashville every fall. It serves as a platform for those interested in state public policy and government process. In the State Capitol Building, students from all over Tennessee engage in creating public policy, debating pieces of legislation, and learning about essential government practices. Not only is there a legislative branch consisting of a House of Representatives and a Senate, there is an executive branch, a judicial branch, lobbying firms, and a press corp.
In the spring, TISL hosts a forum called Campus-Capital Connection, an educational meeting that brings TISL delegates across the state back to Nashville to listen to speakers talk about their jobs in government and offer potential opportunities for the students.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, was one of the two founding universities of TISL in 1966. Over the past 52 years, UT has continued to send groups of young men and women who have served as exemplary leaders in all the components mentioned above. Regularly, students from UT serve on the executive council, the small group of students in charge of the General Assembly’s operation. In addition, many students have received awards from the organization for outstanding performance at the General Assembly.
Outside of the General Assembly, the UT chapter regularly meets to prepare by writing legislation and practicing parliamentary procedure and debate. TISL is a fantastic opportunity not only to learn about our government, but also to network and build friendships with student leaders across the state.