Friday, June 12, 2015

Day 6 News

by Cameron Fisher and Spencer Anderson
Texas Boys State Press Corps

After a eventful night at LBJ, filled with rousing debates, and greatly talented performers, the statesmen rose Friday morning for one last day at Boys State. At seven, the general election polls opened in the Flag Room, and the Statesmen lined up in droves to place their vote. At eight-thirty, a recreation period began, and the Statesmen were able to choose between a city Olympiad and a college fair. The Olympiad served as the tournament games for basketball, dodgeball and football. At the college fair, schools from all over Texas, and a few from outside of the state gathered to share information about their school with the Statesmen.

At ten thirty, the general election closed, and an hour later, the final General Assembly began in the LBJ auditorium. Boys State officials greeted the Statesmen and their parents, and made their final remarks before the event everyone had been waiting for all week: election results.

After the results were given, recognition awards, scholarships and Boys Nation candidates were announced, before the Statesmen were announced as graduates of the program. Afterwards, the Statesmen made their way to Jester one last time, to gather their belongings, and to return home.

The Top Elected State Positions are as follows:

Governor: Chris Navarrete

Lt Governor: Miles Neal

Attorney General: Joe Salazar

Commissioner of Land Office: Jack Brehmer

Comptroller of Accounts: Allan Ngo

Commissioner of Agriculture: Nick Martin

Railroad Commissioner: Rob Bailey, Ben LeBlanc, and Sam McClanahan

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: Sam Cano

Supreme Court Associates: Kyle Armstrong, Brian Cho, Noah Hansen, Zach Harbin, Cody Kelemen, Garrison Reeves, Evan Samsky, and Ryan Sullivan

Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals: Trevor O'Connor

Associate Judges, Court of Criminal Appeals: Anthony Boutros, Oliver Davidson, Marshall Foster, Matthew Hartmann, Carson Henderson, Brandon Johnson, Greer Smith, and AJ Urteaga

Day 5 News

by Cameron Fisher and Spencer Anderson
Texas Boys State Press Corps

Another full day has passed at Boys State, and as usual, the boys rose early in the morning, and made their way to breakfast. The days first activity was the first general assembly, where General Election Campaign speeches for all State officials, excluding Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor, took place. Following this long assembly the boys ate a hearty lunch.

        The Staters then assembled for the march to the state capitol, which is just a short walk away from Jester. The boys lined up outside by city, with the band and Color Guard spearheading the congregation. The Color Guard bore the standards of the United States, Texas, and the American Legion, among others. Upon arriving at the front steps of the capital, the band played a couple songs. The boys then made their way inside the building, where they visited various offices of elected officials and house and senate members reported to their respective chambers for debate.

Afterwards, the boys returned to Jester and attended their city meetings, where they reviewed the week, discussed their experiences, and exchanged contact informations with their newfound friends. Following their meetings the boys attended dinner. They then met up and made a trip over to the UT Mall for the flag lowering ceremony.

Finally it was time for the evening's general assembly, once again, in the LBJ auditorium. At the assembly while the press conducted a live stream, debates and a talent show were held late into the evening.

After yet another long day, the statesmen made their way to bed, ready for the sixth and final day of the Boys State program.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day 4 News

by Cameron Fisher and Spencer Anderson
Texas Boys State Press Corps

        Yet another fun-filled, exciting day has passed at Texas Boys State. The Statesmen woke promptly at six, and threw on their Boys State t-shirts. They ate a quick breakfast, before heading to the Jester dorm Flag Room to vote in their party's Primary Election. Afterwards, while the House and Senate convened, the other Statesmen rotated between three different activities. The activities included a party politics panel, a presentation on the significance of Lobbyists, and a a panel on the role of the media. In an interesting twist, a representative from the Libertarian party of Texas joined a Democrat and Republican on the party panel. This allowed the Statesmen to be exposed to Libertarian views, and a well-received quote that our reporters collected from this representative was: "I support a strong defense, but nine hundred overseas military bases is not defense -- it is offense." The applause was deafening.

        At eleven, the Parties convened for their State conventions to hear the results of their primary elections, and to hear the speeches of the run-off candidates. They then went to lunch.

        After lunch, the run-off election polls opened in the Flag Room, and statesmen rushed to place their votes on laptops set up in the room. After a morning full of conventions and elections, the boys were eager to take a break, and the recreation period began at one. Once again, the boys had the choice of participating in a variety of sports. Scott City displayed their aptitude for track, and tied with Winter City in the one by four hundred, before going on to win both the one by sixteen hundred, and the one by four relays. In a thrilling final football match between McGee City and Davis City, McGee came out on top, in a slim victory of 13-7. The talent show tryouts continued from the previous day, as statesmen lined up outside the Flag Room to showcase their skills, from piano, to violin, to singing.

       After a short meeting with their cites, the Statesmen made their way again to the Sunken Garden for the daily flag lowering ceremony. With the flag lowered, the band out of breath, and the visiting dignitaries introduced, the boys made their way to dinner. Following dinner, the General Assembly in the LBJ Library began with keynote speaker Tim Dunn, of Empower Texas. Dunn spoke about ensuring all of our representatives in government have the consent of the governed. The statesmen then adjourned to their county, district, and state party conventions. Afterwards, they made their way back to Jester, tired and ready for a good night's sleep.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Day 3 News

By Cameron Fisher and Spencer Anderson
Texas Boys State Press Corps

Once again, the statesmen rose at six in the morning, and made their way to breakfast in Jester dining before heading on to their state party conventions. Federalists went by City to the Welch building, and Nationalists walked across campus to the LBJ Presidential Library auditorium. In these meetings, both parties elected party officers through their already-elected delegates, and observed enthusiastic, passionate speeches. Meanwhile, the House and Senate made their way to the state capitol, where they continued officer election and committee formation.

After the morning's hard work, thunderous applause, and seemingly endless walks, the statesmen made their way to a well-deserved lunch. Following lunch, the statesmen again grouped into their Cities, and made their way to Clark Field, for the City Face-off. At the Face-off, cities attempted to out-do each other's enthusiasm and fervor. The statesmen, hyped and ready for sports, participated in their choice of football, dodgeball, or basketball, while Press Corps camera crews captured the action. During this recreational period, committees that needed to meet did so, and statesmen who did not play sports, and do not have a meeting to attend, were able to take tours of landmarks around campus.

At the end of the recreational period, staters had the option to audition for the talent show, which will be held at Thursday evening's general assembly. Try-outs were held in Jester headquarters.

In the afternoon, district and county party conventions began, and statesmen made speeches for district and county offices, the accumulation of campaigning that many statesmen had been doing for the past couple days. At the same time, city mayors had a meeting in Jester center.

After these conventions was the daily flag lowering ceremony, which includes the singing of the Boys State song, and the introduction of visiting dignitaries. Following this, the Staters were split up, some going to dinner, and others participating in the visiting dignitary program, where they listened to what our visiting dignitaries had to say.

The statesmen had to be on top of things, as corrections for any errors on their primary election ballots, such as duplicate signatures were due by 6:30.

At seven fifteen, the boys made their way to LBJ library, for the daily general assembly, where several speakers, each representing the various decades that Boys State has existed, spoke about the development of the program over the years, and the success that they found, which they believe was a result of the lessons, and friendships that they formed at their respective Texas Boys State years. The crowd of boys responded to the encouragement positively and were uplifted by the success stories of these men. The Boys proclaimed, with zeal, "We are Texas Boys State!"

Afterwards, state party conventions resumed, and the candidates for Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Governor gave speeches, closing the evening. The Statesmen then made their way back to their rooms, tired, but more than ready for yet another day of "learning by doing".

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 2 News

By Santiago Barrientos
Texas Boys State Press Corps

On June 8th, statesmen get the first taste of fatigue as they wake up at 6 a.m. after staying up late as they voted for Mayor, Color Guard, Olympiad Director, as well as Press Corps members.
They line up by cities to get the first taste of breakfast here at Jester Center Cafeteria, eager to start their first day. After eating, the statesmen are led to their Precinct Convention meeting to listen to their respective party's House and Senate speeches.

By 9:30 a.m. the statesmen meet as counties to elect their party voting delegates, and begin to form their state party convention. Lunch offers the statesmen a break from the intense schedule and lets them talk about their long day so far with their own party members as well as boys from the opposing party.

By 12:00 p.m. the first elections of 2015 are held for House and Senate, only making the statesmen more and more anxious and excited for the night to come. However, before any elections are finalized, and all politics are set aside, and statesmen head up to their dorms to prepare for recreational period. City after city line up at Clark Field to do the famous "Face-off," where they chant, hoot, and holler at the top of their lungs showing their pride for their city.

And the games begin! 1 p.m. marks the beginning of the 2015 Texas Boys State City Olympiad, where statesmen can take part in either basketball, dodgeball, or a 7 on 7 football game. Statesmen also took part in the Boys State Band, ran stories for the Press Corps, or participated on some campus tours that allowed them to see a lot of UT.

After all the fun activities, the statesmen go to their rooms to change and head down for the daily flag lowering ceremony, where the Color Guard lowers the American flag and the band pridefully accompanies the statesmen in the Texas Boy State Song.

The final meal of the day comes and everyone is either ready for bed or excited about the general assembly, or both! With great privilege, statesmen rush from dinner to attend a meeting with visiting dignitaries.

Finally, everyone meets up at the LBJ auditorium for the first General Assembly. We were fortunate to have special guest former CIA officer Jim Olson, professor at The Bush School of Government and Public Service, speak to us about commitment and dedication to everything we do in life.

The night was topped off with House and Senate election results, as well as final meetings by both parties that lasted well into the night.

Monday, June 8, 2015

2015 Texas Boys State: Off and Running to Learn by Doing

By Texas Boys State Media Staff

Welcome to the official blog of the 2015 Texas Boys State! Here, we will keep you up-to-date with the events and happenings at this year's action-packed week.

To learn more about Texas Boys State, click here.

The program got underway Sunday, June 7, as 1008 statesmen checked in to the Jester Center dormitory on The University of Texas campus in Austin. Statesmen began their experience with a meeting in their cities Sunday afternoon. From there, it was off to dinner before the first Texas Boys State assembly in the sunken garden at Jester Center.

At the assembly, statesmen learned two integral parts to the Texas Boys State program: proper respect for the United States Flag and the Texas Boys State song.

After the first general assembly, it was off to city orientation meetings where statesmen in each of the 22 cities elected mayors for each. Two other positions elected were color guard and olympiad director. The two members of the color guard for each city play a vital role in city pride and logistics. The flags, bearing a city's name, make sure statesmen are always with their city as they move about the University of Texas campus.

The olympiad directors coordinate their city's athletic programs. It is their responsibility to make sure their city's teams are present for their respective contests, which include seven-on-seven football, five-on-five basketball, and dodgeball. The cities compete at a cumulative level, meaning the outcome of their games is only part of the equation to determine an olympiad champion. Sportsmanship and originality in team presentation are also integral parts to the overall olympiad program.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 6: Nats Take Top 3 Offices; March to the Capitol and Head for Home

The final day of Texas Boys State must begin with a note of congratulations to the top elected officers for 2014. We are proud to announce the election of Arthur Dixon, governor, Elton McIntosh, lieutenant governor, and Christian Green, attorney general. All three are from the Nationalist Party. Dixon, in this capacity as governor will return to Texas Boys State next year to preside over the 2015 session.

Meanwhile, what started as a week of uncertainty on Sunday is finishing up as a lifetime of memories for statesmen. The delegation will conclude the week with a march to the historic Texas State Capitol building after breakfast. Along the way, the winners of the races for Agriculture Commissioner, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Commissioner of the General Land Office, and Supreme Court of Texas will visit their respective offices and given tours by office staff.

Once at the Capitol, the lieutenant governor will preside over a session of the Boys State Senate. Unfortunately, the Senate will be unable to meet in the Texas Senate Chamber due to renovations. However, Texas Boys State staff was able to secure a room in the Capitol allowing the Senate to conduct their session. It might not be the actual Senate Chamber, but the Boys State Senate will still have the memory of a lifetime by being able to say they met in the Texas State Capitol building.

The Texas House Chamber is open for use by Texas Boys State, allowing the 120 members (three from each of the 20 cities) of the Texas Boys State House of Representatives. Statesmen in the House will be able to sit at the same desks used by the 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives and conduct a session of the Boys State House.

Friday’s activities culminate in the final general assembly of the 2014 session of Texas Boys State, held in the House Chamber at the Texas State Capitol. During this final session, statesmen will hear final remarks from Boys State administrative leadership and enjoy the session’s awards ceremony. The final awards will go to two statesmen selected by Texas Boys State administrative leadership to attend Boys Nation in Washington, D.C.

After the awards ceremony concludes, only one thing remains: pronouncing the statesmen graduates of 2014 Texas Boys State. The statesmen will receive a certificate of completion to take with them, signifying they have successfully completed the Texas Boys State program and joining a select group of young men over the past 74 years. Statesmen will then march back to Jester Center and be released to their parents to return home.

And, just like that: 2014 Texas Boys State comes to a close. What began as 920 strangers from across the Lone Star State concluded with 920 statesmen, each having their own unique experience, but each also having the collective experience of going through the session together. Congratulations to the Texas Boys State, class of 2014! We wish you the best in your future endeavors.