Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday News -- 2016 Texas Boys State

By Staff Reports
June 17, 2016

After a eventful day at LBJ, filled with rousing debates, an inspirational visit from former Navy SEAL Clint Bruce, and the much-anticipated gubernatorial election, the Statesmen rose Friday morning for one last day at Boys State. Statesmen were given the opportunity to attend a college fair with both in-state and out-of-state universities in Kinsolving Dormitory, and then met briefly with their cities for reflections and final remarks.

Simultaneously, parents and sponsors met with Boys State staff to discuss the challenges and learnings that the Statesmen experienced throughout the week. An emphasis was placed on the importance of having attended Boys State to the successes of the Statesmen in their futures. 

At the last general assembly in Gregory Gym, recognition awards, scholarships and Boys Nation candidates were announced, and a keynote address from General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush. Additionally, a few statesmen demonstrated their impressive skills at the talent show. The Statesmen were announced as graduates of the Boys State program, and dismissed from the Kinsolving and Quad Dormitories, ready to use their newly-acquired skills and friendships in the future.

Thursday News -- 2016 Texas Boys State

By Dom Borbon
June 17, 2016

An overwhelming atmosphere of unity and fellowship settled over the UT campus today as Statesmen went through their last full day of the Boys State Program.

Statesmen gathered early in the morning to eat one of their last meals with their fellow Statesmen. After breakfast, all statesmen congregated together at the first general assembly of the day where general election speeches were presented by state candidates. Because of the number of candidates and length of speeches, general assembly lasted until lunchtime. 

After eating lunch, statesmen departed from lunch to attend their respective county party conventions then to their district party conventions where county and district candidates presented campaign speeches.

Finally, the second general assembly of the day commenced to hold keynote addresses, general election speeches for attorney general, lieutenant governor, and governor. Following speeches, a debate between state candidates was mediated by press corps to further expose statesmen to their future state officials.

 After the conclusion of general assembly, statesmen made their way to the UT town to witness the flag lowering ceremonies for the evening. From there, statesmen were served their last dinner together in the Kinsolving cafeteria. As alway, recreational period took place roughly  at eight in the evening, which included olympiads, band practice, seminars, and talent show tryouts. 

At this point, general election polls were open for all statesmen to vote, and with the commencement of the nightly speeches, polls were closed and votes were tallied, and by the end of the night, the results of the general elections were announced. 

Ending on the high note of victory, statesmen were released from the assembly to enjoy their final night in the dorms.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Wednesday News -- 2016 Texas Boys State

By Dom Borbon
June 15, 2016

The fourth day of Texas Boys State was a complete success as campaigning and politics continued. With the program nearing its end, the schedule and events here have increased in both spirit and intensity. 

Like previous days, today began with an early breakfast at Kinsolving dorm's cafeteria. Right off the bat, the day’s politics began with the House and Senate meeting directly after breakfast. At the same time, county party conventions were taking place elsewhere to hold runoff election speeches. 

Shortly afterwards, Statesmen from the county party conventions moved on to district party conventions where run-off election speeches for district offices were held. Finally, statesmen continued to the state party convention where state runoff speeches took place as well as the continuation of platform discussions.

Runoff election polls opened at ten in the morning, concurrently the seminar rotations began. By noon, seminars sessions concluded, and Statesmen made their way to lunch. Thirty minutes after lunch began runoff election polls officials closed. 

Shortly after lunch, Statesmen assembled together to parade to the capitol building where House and Senate sessions commenced while other Statesmen toured and met with various elected officials. After three hours at the capitol, Statesmen continued their busy day with mayor meetings or band practice.

By five in the afternoon, the flag lowering ceremony took place with dinner and dignitary visits commencing shortly afterwards. From dinner and dignitary talks, statesmen were allowed to change into recreational clothing and begin city olympiads. 

Like the day before, Statesmen had the choice between olympiads, band practice, seminars, campaign committee meetings, talent show tryouts, and Congress sessions. By 9:45 in the evening, recreational time ended and statesmen gathered once more for the nightly announcements, which concluded the day’s activities.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Tuesday News — 2016 Texas Boys State

By Dom Borbon 
June 15, 2016

Tuesday’s events kept the ball rolling from the previous day as Statesmen were challenged with a more substantial load of campaigns and elections than before. 

Cities were up early to eat breakfast and prepare for the busy day ahead, which would be filled with an even busier schedule. Following breakfast, Statesmen broke into their State Party Conventions where speeches and platform ideas were introduced. 

Meanwhile the House and Senate were separated into another group that met and convened in the Capitol building. For the next few hours, all groups came together to discuss platforms, policy, and elections--a long and grueling process that required utmost concentration from all Statesmen involved.

Finally, the State Party Convention met once again to give speeches for attorney general, lieutenant governor, and governor. By the end of these events, Statesmen had only gone through half of the day’s schedule.

About 4 p.m., Statesmen broke from the state conventions and separated to go to their dorms, rehearse for the band, or attend a mayor’s meeting, before meeting again at general assembly to honor the lowering of the flags. From there, dinner was served to a surely hungry hoard of bustling Statesmen. 

At the same time, some cities met with visiting dignitaries to receive advice on the political process. Included among the evening’s guests were distinguished state representatives, senators, lawyers, and judges.

After dinner, boys began the ritual city face-offs and city olympiads, officially kicking off recreation for the evening. During this time, Statesmen drifted from place to place choosing between the olympiad, seminars, band practice, committee meetings, congress sessions, and talent show tryouts. 

By 8 p.m., the primary election polls had opened and Statesmen gathered to vote for positions introduced earlier during convention speeches. An hour and a half later, recreation period and primary elections were over. Despite its name, recreation time today was just as busy—if not busier—as the rest of the day, proving that the week-long political process requires dedication and diligence to one’s duties.

At 10:15 pm, the nightly announcements were given and the Texas Boy’s State News—made by the program’s very own Media Corps—aired live. Before being released for the night, the results of the statewide primary elections were announced, many of which resulted in runoffs between the two candidates receiving the most votes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monday News — 2016 Texas Boys State

By Dom Borbon
June 14, 2016

After the initial sparks of Sunday’s exciting introductions, Texas Boys State is now in full force.

The second day of the program saw an engaging schedule of campaigns, elections, party politics, sports, and much more. To start off the day, Statesmen strengthened bonds between their fellow city Statesmen as they gathered for a hearty breakfast together. No time was wasted as the Statesmen went straight to business, first breaking into their city precincts and hearing speeches from House and Senate candidates within their own party. Still gathered in their precinct conventions, Statesmen voted on the positions for precinct chair, county delegates, rules platform and campaign committee.

All before 10 a.m., Statesmen received their first taste of the election process, something that will be a common factor through the remainder of this week.

Directly afterwards, Statesmen moved with their precincts to the county convention where delegates voted for their county chair and state delegates. Many counties saw fierce competition between state delegate candidates as Statesmen vied for only six delegate positions that would later represent the county during the state party convention.

Following the elections of county officials, all Statesmen gathered collectively with their whole party in the state party convention. This first contact with the party convention was crucial as Statesmen joined in song, chant, and excitement, building connections with each other and establishing a sense of pride in their parties.

After an engaging half hour, statesmen made their way to eat lunch, which would serve as a much needed respite before another long series of elections. Before leaving to return to the state party convention, Statesmen first voted at the special election polls for House of Representatives and Senate.

Upon returning from lunch and special election polls, the state party conventions recommenced to pass new rules, elect a state party chair, party secretary, and whips. The conventions saw disagreements between delegates, fierce campaigning, and—at times—almost complete disarray in the convention center.

At the same time, however, the state party conventions proved to be rewarding for all the Statesmen present as the delegates learned to settle disputes in a civil manner. Candidates were gifted with humility and respect, and above all, Statesmen built a strong sense of camaraderie as they had fun and learned together.

Immediately following the three-hour long state party conventions, statesmen changed into their recreational clothes and made their way to dinner. By the end of dinner, the special election polls officially closed, and all Statesmen walked from Kinsolving Dormitory to the LBJ Presidential Library where the general assembly would take place.

There, Statesmen were honored with a keynote speech from James Olsen, a retired CIA agent and a current professor at Texas A&M University, who emphasized the importance of upholding diligence and dedication to one’s country.

Inspired and lifted by these words, Statesmen proceeded to Clark Field in high spirits where they began city face-offs, which initiates recreational time, a period when Statesmen participate in friendly rivalries in the City Olympiad. Simultaneously, other statesmen had the chance to participate in seminars, meetings, orientations, or band practice.

After two hours of recreational time, all Statesmen met once again for the lowering of the flags and evening announcements. Finally, after a busy day of politics and competition, Statesmen retired to their dorms to rest up and prepare for yet another day at Texas Boys State.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sunday News -- 2016 Texas Boys State

By Staff Reports
June 13, 2016

Welcome to the official blog of Texas Boys State 2016! 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 12, as 1,035 statesmen checked in to the Kinsolving Dormitory on The University of Texas at Austin campus. Statesmen began their experience with an information meeting in their cities Sunday afternoon. From there, it was off to dinner before the first Texas Boys State general assembly outside the Honors Quad.

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. Additionally, the Boys State band will accompany the singers as they perform the Boys State song throughout the week and during their march to the Capitol on Wednesday. 

After the first general assembly, the statesmen headed to city orientation meetings where statesmen in each of the 24 cities elected their respective mayors. 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, ensure statesmen are always following their proper city as they move about the University of Texas campus. In addition, color guard  members are taught how to raise and lower the United States and Texas flag that fly over Texas Boys State.

The olympiad directors coordinate their city's athletic programs. It is their responsibility to make sure their city's teams are present (and “pumped”) 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.

While cities voted on elected officials, statesmen also had the opportunity to join the Boys State Press Corps, which is tasked with providing updates and content on the activities of the entire program. This is the third year of the Press Corps’ existence, and once again RDM Pros will be partnering with the media team to create professional-grade products. Media will be available on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, and on the Boys State website.  Stay tuned for more information! 

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