2010 Undergraduate Students Program Description

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NEW YORK STATE SENATE
Orientation, Placement and Program
Upon arrival students participate in an orientation program that presents the rudiments of legislative purpose, procedure, and culture. All placements are arranged by the Office of Student Programs only. Effort is made to develop mutually satisfactory placements that provide in-depth experience and reliable performance. Each student is assigned to a specific office and is expected to function much as a regular staff member responsible to the Senator/supervisor in that office/unit as the setting and limitations of the program permit. Session Assistant responsibilities tasks vary accordingly. Weekly seminars introduce focused procedural topics and key participants, and may include reading/writing/ speaking assignments. A major paper may be expected. Model Legislative Session is typical of the program, including drafting, negotiation, and debate/voting on original student legislation. Historically, it is the culminating program activity. Students must maintain frequent contact with their campus advisors throughout the program.

Sponsored by the New York State Senate since 1978

UNDERGRADUATE SESSION ASSISTANTS PROGRAM DESCRIPTION — 2010

From Thursday, January 7, 2010, through Wednesday, April 28, 2010 Enrollment is on-site at the New York State Senate in Albany, New York
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The Senate Application Deadline is Friday, October 30, 2009 There may be an earlier on-campus deadline. Announcement of Selections is Monday, November 16, 2009
F F F n An on-site experience at the Senate in Albany, New York, the program is not financial aid for oncampus study. Selection is for approximately 30 undergraduate students. Each student should demonstrate a 3.0 grade point average, and meet the campus/departmental standard for off-campus study; students must be enrolled full time in the previous spring (not summer) and current fall semesters/trimesters. n Each applicant must be a United States citizen matriculating full time in an accredited, undergraduate degree program on a campus in New York State. The program is intended and designed for college juniors and seniors: exceptional sophomores may occasionally be selected. Freshmen are ineligible. n The Senate welcomes majors in all accredited disciplines. Training in the history/politics/government of New York is neither a prerequisite of nor an advantage to selection. Skill and ability, initiative, eagerness to learn, discretion, and mature flexibility are essential for success. n Placements are ordinarily to the offices of individual senators. Students may observe, participate in, and/or acquire experience with state government procedures. Combined participation in the program and legislative placement is for a minimum of 35 hours per week. Longer hours are possible and should be expected. n Each applicant must be able to earn campus awarded credit for participation in the program to be eligible. Typically, 15 credit hours are awarded by most participating SUNY, CUNY, and independent colleges and universities. Advisement, evaluation, grading, and granting of credit are the responsibility of on-campus faculty. Owing to the demands of the on-site program, the Senate imposes a limit of six (6) additional classroom credits pursued outside the program during enrollment. n The Senate awards a $4,140 Stipend to offset costs of moving to and living in Albany. Arrangement of housing in Albany is the responsibility of the individual enrollee. The stipend is paid in biweekly installments — subject to lag payroll and other current payroll guidelines — and prorated through the last day of each individual enrollment. F F F Work with your Campus Liaison Officer (CLO) Name of CLO Office Location If the CLO is unknown on your campus, write, call, fax or email: Office Hours

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n A printable application is available on-line. Go to www.nysenate.gov and select "About", click on “Student Programs” and choose "Undergraduate Program". The application may be completed on-line then printed for required signatures. n Arrangement of personal housing in Albany is the responsibility of the student. The Senate does not provide for and is not responsible to identify suitable housing. Nonetheless, some modest Student Programs Office resources are available to support housing searches, subject to change: a “Come one, come all!” Housing Day is scheduled for Friday, December 4, 2009. On that day, enrolling students may identify another Session Assistant(s) with whom to room and share expenses while in Albany. NOTE: City of Albany ordinances prohibit more than three unrelated adults from occupying the same residence. Of course, not everyone will be able to attend Housing Day. Students are welcome at other times. If you will be conducting a housing search on other than the scheduled Housing Day and would like to use Student Programs Office telephones and lists, you are most welcome but must call ahead to make arrangements. F F F Office of Student Programs Mail to: NYS Senate Legislative Office Building #1426, Albany, NY 12247 Location: 80 South Swan St., Suite 1426 Albany, NY 12247 Tel: (518) 455-2611 E-mail: [email protected] Fax: (518) 426-6827 www.nysenate.gov then select "About", click on "Student Programs" and choose "Undergraduate Progam". 4

Edna L. Jackson, Director

Edna L. Jackson, Director NYS Senate Office of Student Programs Mailing Address: Legislative Office Building, #1426, Albany, NY 12247 Location: 80 South Swan Street, Suite 1426, Albany, NY 12247 Tel: 518-455-2611 — FAX: 518-426-6827 — E-mail:[email protected] www.nysenate.gov then select "About", click “Student Programs” and choose "Undergraduate Program".

Undergraduate Session Assistants Program

The program is intended to provide talented and able undergraduate students with firsthand experience in New York State government at the legislative level. Approximately 30 Session Assistants are selected each session. The program is meant to foster an appreciative understanding of the roles of process, personalities, and problem-solving in state government. The opportunity to observe policy development is unparalleled. Applicants come from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines, and campus experiences. The enrollment will consist predominantly of college juniors and seniors. Exceptional sophomores are occasionally selected. Freshmen are ineligible. The program runs from the beginning of January through the end of April and is spent entirely on-site at the Senate. Session Assistants are assigned to a Senator and work full time in these placements. The aim of the Senate Session Assistants Program is to return energetic and informed men and women to the classroom, to voter constituencies, and to the workplaces that serve New York State — its economy, communities, and families.

Essential Questions

If you are currently enrolled as a full time matriculating undergraduate student in an accredited program, the Session Assistants Program may be right for you. To test that, answer the following questions:

1. Are you interested in pursuing a career in public service? 2. Are you studying full time on an accredited campus in New York State? 3. Are you a United States citizen? 4. Do you maintain a 3.0 grade point average and will you be enrolled full time in the immediately previous spring and current fall semester, or previous two trimesters? Your status must be certified by the Campus Liaison Officer (CLO), academic advisor, chairman, dean, or other duly authorized campus official. 5. Can you earn credit for participation in this experiential program from your college? 6. Do you have respectable research and strong communication skills? 7. Are you able to set aside your personal political predilections in order to fulfill the experiential opportunity that is offered (i.e. can you accept placement with an office where the political convictions may be in stark contrast to your own)? The Undergraduate Session Assistants Program application deadline is Friday, October 30, 2009. Expect an earlier on-campus deadline if your school has a Campus Liaison Officer (CLO). Be prepared. You may also be required to participate in a phone interview with the New York State Senate Office of Student Programs prior to selection. Announcement of those selected will be made on Monday, November 16, 2009.

o 6. one longer essay (1,200 words) and two policy memoranda; o 7. a statement of purpose relating your objectives and vision in seeking this experiential assistantship; o 8. certification by the CLO or other authorized campus official for each applicant stating that the applicant has been interviewed and/or the individual academic record reviewed to ensure applicant is eligible and meets all program and institutional requirements; o 9. certification of the applicant’s present coursework-in-progress; and o 10. a signed Student Statement (see page i of the application).
Submit your application through the CLO, if there is one on campus. Campus Liaison Officials, may, if they choose to, confidentially rank applicants on the basis of campus guidelines, standards, interviews and conferences, the merits of the applications, supporting materials, the nature of the program, and so forth, as campus standards recommend. academic planning, tracking, and evaluation of student participation. The Senate cannot and does not award credit. To be eligible, the applicant must be able to earn on-campus credit for experience in the program. On campuses where there is no credit bearing mechanism for off-campus study, students will be ineligible. If, after on-campus interviews and reviews, you are approved for off-campus enrollment, you may submit the application through your Campus Liaison Officer (CLO). Send all necessary paperwork and certifications together. Apply on time. Read carefully and follow directions.

Each student wishing to apply for a Senate assistantship should first become informed about college regulations. This is the responsibility of each applicant. Campus rules govern who may/may not participate in such programs, the credit bearing value of such experience, and the identity of the oncampus evaluator. Responsible faculty screen prospective applicants to ensure eligibility and appropriateness. This may include reviews and oncampus interviews. On-campus faculty are responsible for

Campus Rules and Responsibilities: How They Apply

Applications must include specific items/ information and certifications: o 1. official transcripts of all collegiate work; o 2. special areas of skill or honors; o 3. a resume — one page only; o 4. preferred area of policy interest (see list on page IV of application); o 5. three confidential letters of reference from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic abilities and professional aptitude; 3 (Continued on page 4)

What to Include

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(Continued on Page 3)

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