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Students learn public policy

Contributed • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:41 PM

The lecture took place at the Grand Haven Community Center on May 30.

The Grand Haven Area Student Public Policy Lecture Series is a project spearheaded by Katie McKee, who will be a senior this fall at Grand Haven High School.

“While researching and visiting universities I may want to attend, I learned that some of them offer access to fascinating and informative guest speakers,” McKee said.  “My group members and I wanted to help create that opportunity for area students.  We’re creating an organization that will last for years to come that will provide students access to elected officials and other leaders who can provide insight on an array of topics that can be covered more candidly and in greater detail than time allows in the classroom.

“Judge Post was kind enough to provide our first presentation and he was excellent,” she added.

 Post, the chief judge for the 20th Circuit Court, spoke for nearly an hour to the students who assembled at the Grand Haven Community Center for a helping of pizza and policy. Covering issues from sentencing guidelines to lower-cost forms of corrections than incarceration, Post injected humor and court history into the presentation that kept the attention of more than a dozen audience members at the inaugural event.

“To see these students take an interest in public policy topics is impressive,” the judge said. “It’s another way to have fun on a Friday night.”

There aren’t a lot of better nights than Fridays for students to gather, according to McKee. Extracurricular clubs, team practices and homework occupy students most other nights. 

“Everyone who attended (the first event) said they want to be part of the effort to make this an ongoing lecture series,” said Ellie Scholtz, who will also be a senior this fall at GHHS. “It’s fun being part of something new. We have a good start and we’re willing to work to make it a long-term opportunity for area students to be both entertained and better informed.”

McKee said the next event in the lecture series has not yet been scheduled.

“We’ll schedule other nights when opportunities or circumstances require, but we’re going to make the events fun and informative for students interested in public policy and other topics,” she said.

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