New Open Discussion Group
We know the last couple of weeks have meant a number of stressful transitions--in the literal and figurative sense of the term--and we hope you are all settled and keeping yourselves well and safe.
In addition to the existing eight topic areas, we have created a new “Open Discussion” group as a place to talk about anything and everything, including how you're coping with the changes to your lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In view of the current situation, we are extending the deadline for the final draft of your proposal to Monday, April 6.
The deadline for a first full draft was March 17, but some proposals still have incomplete sections. We ask that you have all sections (including consultations, preambulatory and resolution clauses) completed as at least a first draft by this Friday, March 27. If you are still working on details or are filling in information, please note those in the proposal itself. (Insert placeholder text like “NEEDS BUDGET ESTIMATE” or “CHECK THIS WITH SOMEONE FROM DEPARTMENT OF XX.”)
It’s crucial that you get a solid draft done this week so that you can get feedback from peers, TCs, and instructors and continue to revise your proposal up to the final deadline of April 6.
Introducing Sophia, Research Assistant at Large
Starting this week, we’re very fortunate to have the assistance of Sophia Barnes, a UROP student with Interactive Communications & Simulations. She will be working with the TCs and instructors to identify places in your proposals where additional in-depth research could be helpful, and to work on that research. If you need help, for example, estimating how much a particular part of your proposal will cost, analyzing current legislation related to your issue, or finding the right state office or agency to target with your proposal, Sophia can assist! Don’t hesitate to reach out to the TCs, instructors, or Sophia directly as with questions or requests.
We encourage all of you to communicate directly with TCs or instructors to make an appointment (via chat, call or videoconference) within the coming week. This is an opportunity to get feedback and support with your proposals--please take advantage.
Pilot programs and your proposals
Please bear in mind that a strong proposal doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire state of Michigan has to adopt it right away. Pilot programs--providing a test case or “proof of product” for your proposal--can be a feasible alternative, but make sure that the program you propose does not already exist. Also be sure that, if you are proposing a pilot program, it’s something that potentially can be replicated across the state so that ultimately it could benefit a substantial number of students across the state of Michigan.
Apart from being a requirement, we repeat: consultations are an invaluable component to drafting a strong proposal. We strongly encourage you to continue to pursue them, even if this requires multiple searches. While oral conversations are highly preferable, email correspondence is acceptable if that is the only means of communicating with a valuable consultant. Please be sure that you provide the name, title, and organization of the specific person with whom you have communicated.
Thank you for continuing to be active caucus members in the face of the ongoing situation.
Please keep safe and be well.