April 18, 2007

Writing contest for high school students to recognize interest in public policy

Students from public and private high schools from across the Upper Midwest are invited to enter the second annual College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University Public Policy Learning Community Essay Contest.

“Contested Ideas and Methods: Debating Public Policy” is the topic of the essay contest, sponsored by the Public Policy Learning Community at CSB/SJU. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2007. Entries should be submitted by e-mail to mlindstrom@csbsju.edu or by mail to: Dr. Matthew Lindstrom, Public Policy Learning Community, Saint John’s University, Simons Hall 150, Collegeville, MN 56321.

The Public Policy Learning Community at CSB/SJU is offering this essay contest to foster awareness of and interest in public policy issues at any area and level of government.

Entries may address policy in any area of government, from domestic to foreign, and any level of government, from local policy to international law. Essays will be judged on the quality of writing and support of the theme through evidence, not on the policy issue chosen or specific position held by the writer. A bibliography using any standard academic style is necessary.

Papers should address the importance of the issue and the policies involved in that issue, why they are important, and what improvements could be made to the policies or their implementation. Topics within the scope of public policy include, but are not limited to, education, war, environment, poverty, health care, taxation, trade, criminal justice, civil rights and liberties, international refugees, and much more. Essays should be 1200 words at a minimum.

“This writing contest is meant to show students how public policy affects their lives, and how they can affect public policy,” said Lindstrom, CSB/SJU associate professor of political science and director of the Public Policy Learning Community.

“Through active citizenship, we can help government advance the good of society,” Lindstrom continued. “Many of us are unaware of the effects of even the smallest policy changes on important issues. This writing promotes thought among students about the issues of interest to them, and allows them to research these issues and suggest improvements to public policy that would improve life in society today. With this encouragement, students will hopefully become more politically aware and active citizens.”

There is a first prize award of $200 and a second prize award of $100. Certificates of merit will also be awarded.