In the Michigan Student Caucus (MSC), students across the state work online, using a variety of custom-built deliberation, collaboration and decision-making tools, to create a political platform representing the interests of students in Michigan. The MSC is formally aligned with the Michigan House of Representatives Special Commission on Civic Engagement, and MSC members meet two or three times a year in Lansing to present formal testimony before House Commission members.
The MSC represents students at the K-12 and post-secondary levels, from elementary kids to graduate students. It is not affiliated with any political party.
The MSC has been used as the centerpiece for several curricular endeavors, especially in civics education, and as a curriculum unto itself. It is presently the focus for multiple sections of the Education 362 course at The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor as well as several Middle School and High School classes. '
The Michigan Student Caucus began its existence in 2000 as the Michigan Youth Caucus, a program developed in partnership with the Michigan Civics Institute, The University of Michigan, and The Michigan House of Representatives Special Commission on Civic Engagement. (It was developed by the very first Instructional Project Design cohort, meaning it is a program designed by and for young people.) Under the leadership of former Michigan State Representative Doug Hart, the program thrived for two years, during which thousands of students around the state actively took a part in shaping policy. Resolutions were written and voted upon online using a (then) state-of-the-art website developed by students in the Instructional Project Design course at The University of Michigan; testimony was given in front of legislators in Lansing; and real legislation made it onto the books as a result of the MYC's efforts.
Beginning in fall, 2005, the project has been revived as the MSC. With the help of numerous state and local politicians, not to mention the University, our goal is once again to have the voices of young people heard in state government.