Youth and Government Recap

Evan Hugge '23

This past weekend, six Priory seniors went down to Jefferson City to represent our school in the Missouri YMCA Youth and Government state convention. There, hundreds of students participate in a mock government each year, debating legislation, hearing cases, and covering the convention in the media. We arrived Saturday afternoon, just in time for the opening ceremony and our first committee assignments. We spent the entire afternoon in our committees debating and ranking bills, and eventually both myself and Riley Carlin managed to get our bills passed on to the House floor.

We spent all of Friday in the mock House of Representatives, where we debated, voted, and presented our bills. Riley’s bill, which proposed using a fleet of drones to monitor rural roads, was defeated by five votes, while mine, which extended tax credits to Missouri landowners to incentivize the killing of feral hogs, went on to the Senate floor and was eventually passed with an amendment. At the end of a hard day of legislating, we sat down for a dinner and banquet, before changing out of our Capitol attire and partying at the “YAGster” (Youth and Government mixer) late into the night. I am glad to report that despite our small size, the Priory delegation positively contributed to the overall moshing. 

The next day, we were up bright and early to resume our legislating and to watch bills be signed into law by the mock governor. At the end of the busy morning, we piled into the main conference room of our hotels to say our goodbyes and learn the results of the mock elections. Thankfully, in the end, our chosen candidate and, might I add, close friend, Guy Fairchild of the Mexico YMCA delegation, was elected governor, closing out a successful convention for the Ravens. 

It was a great experience for all of us, especially those who had never participated in YAG before. We got to learn about the legislative process and experience democracy at work, all while learning about the issues that affect people all over the state. We saw bills covering every topic under the sun, from changing the state song to “Raining Blood” by Slayer to allowing human composting (that is, the composting of human bodies). We met new and interesting people and ate some tender Jeff City barbecue. It was most definitely an experience for the ages.