Senator Barickman visits Normal West


Maggie McHale, Staff Reporter

Jason Barickman, a Republican state senator who represents Ford, Iroquois, McLean, Vermillion and Woodford counties stopped for a visit with Normal West students on Friday, September 14th. The visit was aimed at students taking AP Government and Politics, AP Comparative Government, or International Relations, which was mostly made up of the junior class.

The political visit was planned by Mrs. Freeman, Mrs. Unsbee, and Mr. Klokkenga. It took place in the auditorium of West, during Friday’s 3rd hour class.

The presentation was focused on the history of state and federal power, but also on the workings of local government as they stand.

Mrs. Freeman explained the purpose and brief summary of the event saying that “As a member of the Education committee and the State Senator for our students, Senator Barickman made his annual visit to West.  He has spoken to small student groups, AP Gov classes and this year all Civics and AP Gov classes.

He spoke about the issues as a state Senator he faces and how to best represent his constituents which include most Wildcats.

He also showcased a role for students to get involved with his Page for a Day program as well as his first ever page, Madeline Herrman (2012 Wildcat Grad).

Barickman aimed for the experience to be less of a lecture, and more of an interactive, inclusive presentation that students could be a part of. Barickman commented on students’ opinions, such as the federal government’s template for the laws of the land.

Barickman stressed what his place in government is, and what he could get done, highlighting that he is part of the decision that would give West a new budget, or more funding. He made clear what he could do for our county, working on small issues that affect us directly.

Madeline Herrman introduced Barickman, after Freeman explained that Madeline Herrman was a recent graduate of Normal West, who has gone on to become a legislative aide for Barickman.

The former Wildcat shed light on the opportunities of young people who seek to be involved in politics.

The presentation was concluded by presenting opportunities for students currently at West. Page for a Day is a program that allows students to spend a day visiting the Capitol and watching or aiding work that [Barickman] would do.

This opportunity is available if students reach out to Barickman’s staff and desire to spend time in Illinois government.

Another student opportunity is the Youth Advisory Board, meeting once in fall and once in spring to assemble policies and mock the workings of state government with a group of students representing their home schools.