LANSING — Is there anything more frustrating than a flat tire on the way to work from a pothole on I-696? Michigan is in need of a great deal of infrastructure improvement, but has a small amount of resources.
“State government officials are doing their best to meet the needs of residents, but we cannot magically fix Michigan overnight,” said Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee. “College students are an excellent resource, and as such, should be involved with contemporary policy issues.”
The Students Reinventing Michigan Corporation is sponsoring an annual competition to give students a chance to get involved with Michigan policy. The competition is open to all undergraduate students attending Michigan colleges, universities, or community colleges.
The goal of the competition is to engage students in finding solutions to contemporary issues in Michigan. The topic this year is how the Legislature can improve Michigan’s infrastructure with public support in these challenging times.
The competition, which began May 25, is open to the public until Nov. 15, when proposals are due. Students must register and submit their proposals online at: www.studentsreinventingmichigan.com.
The awards will be announced on Jan. 15. Winners of the competition will receive cash prizes. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000, second place is a $5,000 prize, and 10 third-place winners will receive $500.
Those who wish to participate for first- and second-place prizes must make a plan that contains recommendations to the governor and Legislature. The applicant whose plan is adopted (or largely adopted) by the Legislature will win the grand prize. Individuals whose plans are adopted to a lesser degree are eligible to be one of up to five second-place winners.
Applicants can win a third-place prize by creating public support for infrastructure funding by using the media. Students who create the 10 most influential communications will win the third-place prize.
The competition will be judged by a panel of government officials. Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and Rep. Paul Opsommer, R-DeWitt, chair of the House Transportation Committee will appoint two members from their respective chambers, one Democrat and one Republican, to serve as judges for the competition.
For more information about the competition, visit: www.studentsreinventingmichigan.com.
“I encourage college students across the 15th Senate District and the entire state of Michigan to put a proposal together and submit it,” Kowall said. “Good Luck!”