UND to play host to 66th American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Program beginning June 10

The 66th Annual American Legion Auxiliary Girls State will be held June 10-15 at the University of North Dakota.

The mock-government program, which hosts 135 North Dakota high school girls, is designed to spark interest in the democratic process and to inspire participation in civic life.

During the week long experience, citizens of Girls State reside on the campus of UND in the residence halls. They are divided into cities, which partner to form counties, and all counties combine as a whole to make the mock state of Flickertail Girls State.  With the support of UND staff, Auxiliary staff and counselors, students have the opportunity to run for office and elect officials at the city, county and state levels of government.  They are empowered to make up the laws and budget of their state, deal with natural disasters and function in ways that mirror our government.

The public is invited to attend several events throughout the week:

Sunday, June 10, 4:30 p.m. Chester Fritz Auditorium
The week kicks off with the Opening Session. Girls State delegates will be welcomed by North Dakota First Lady Betsy Dalrymple, UND Law School Dean Kathryn Rand and North Dakota American Legion Auxiliary Department President Betty Malkowski.

Monday, June 11, 1:30 p.m. Chester Fritz Auditorium
The Women in Government Panel consists of prominent women in government in the state of North Dakota. Girls State citizens have the opportunity to engage in a question-and-answer period regarding the panelists’ political experience and advice. Panelists include:

    • Rep. RaeAnn Kelsch, District 34, Mandan
    • Rep. Lois Delmore, District 43, Grand Forks
    • Pam Sharp, director of the Office of Management and       Budget
    • The Hon. Shon Hastings, U.S. bankruptcy judge for       North Dakota
    • Heidi Heitkamp, former North Dakota attorney general

Wednesday, June 13, 7 p.m. Chester Fritz Auditorium
American Legion Night/Skit Night: veterans and active duty service men and women in attendance will be recognized. Girls State citizens will perform skits with their Girls State cities

Thursday, June 14, approximately 10 a.m. Chester Fritz      Auditorium
State-wide election results are announced.

Friday, June 15, 1 p.m. Chester Fritz Auditorium
Inauguration, graduation and candle lighting ceremony: The week concludes with the official inauguration of the newly-elected 2012 Girls State governor, graduation of Girls State citizens, and the North Dakota Girls State traditional candle lighting ceremony.

For more information, visit the official Girls State website (http://ndgirlsstate.org) throughout the week for updates.  Or visit the official Facebook site www.facebook.com/ndgirlsstate.

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