The 67th Annual American Legion Auxiliary Girls State will be held June 9-14 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 9, 4:30 p.m. – Chester Fritz Auditorium
The week kicks off with the Opening Session. Girls State delegates will be welcomed by American Legion Auxiliary Department President Linda Juntunen.
- Monday, June 10, 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:
- Wednesday, June 12, 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 13, approximately 10 a.m. – Chester Fritz Auditorium
State-wide election results are announced.
- Friday, June 14, 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. Special guest speakers include University of North Dakota First Lady Marcia Kelley and Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
Dana Michael Harsell
Associate Professor and MPA Director
Political Science & Public Administration
University of North Dakota