On Thursday, April 12th, the School of Government took a field trip to the Orange City Council Chambers. While there, students observed an actual city council meeting, witnessing how it was run. The purpose of this field trip was to help prepare members for their mock city council meeting about whether or not Orange City should have a drug rehabilitation center.
Being able to watch a real city council meeting up close had its perks. Learning about something and being able to see something are very different.
“We went and watched the proceedings, which included a case on whether or not a local farmers market should be discontinued due to a parking issue,” junior Joey Michaud said. “We were able to see the representatives from the farmers market argue with the council members on why they should be able to continue, which was cool to see.”
Members saw the trip as a very beneficial learning experience. It taught them how local governments are run and the role people play in their communities.
“The purpose of the trip was to show students how cities are run and the different positions within each city that makes the decisions for them,” junior Michael Darch said. “The trip was a great learning experience for young individuals who would like to know more about how local government operates.”
Not only did students realize the importance of local government, but they also got to bond and work with each other in their own mock city council meeting later that day. Members were all assigned roles, such as a council member or city manager, and acted out a prompt about something that the city council had already done.
“The council can have really hard questions to answer,” junior Hannah Stephenson said. “We were able to work together instead of just listening to people talk.”
Their mock trial will not be forgotten- due in large part to the fact that the whole thing was recorded for public record!
“We were still getting used to the microphones and everyone would either speak way too close or way too far away from the microphone and it just made everyone laugh,” junior Haley Duncan said. “We spent the whole time laughing at each other and spending time together for one last field trip.”
With this being School of Government’s last field trip of the year, students learned more than just how a city council is run. With the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company, School of Government members were able to step into the shoes of city council members for a day, learning the pressure that rests on council members’ shoulders and what it takes to run a meeting. By the end of the day, these students were able to bring home with them the knowledge of what goes on behind council meetings, along with the qualities of what it takes to speak to an audience and answer everyday questions council members have to face. This learning experience is sure to follow these students throughout School of Government; only improving their leadership characteristics.