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The Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature is a forum for students to exchange ideas, express their opinions and learn how government works.
Lead Delegates. Serve Peers. Transform Perspectives.
We envision creating and cultivating knowledgeable individuals through engagement in the civic process to expand thought and better serve our community as leaders in a culture of service and friendship.
First convened in early 1966, Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature offers students from over 40 Tennessee colleges and universities the chance to experience every aspect of state politics and government. TISL offers four central programs at each General Assembly in November, our four-day simulation of mock state government, and prepares student leaders for successful futures in state politics and public service.
TISL's Senate and House of Representatives, which first convened in 1966, meet in the legislative chambers of the State Capitol each November. Delegates draft bills and amendments to express their views on state politics, participate in committees, learn parliamentary procedure and the legislative process, and develop debate and public speaking skills.
Producers, editors, and reporters of TISL Media report in a variety of ways about events at TISL. Delegates practice principles of independent journalism, write, edit, and post articles and videos, and learn about media markets and tips for covering and examining state politics. Current initiatives include a printed newsletter at the General Assembly, blogging, interviews, and social media platforms.
The judicial branch of TISL is the Tennessee Intercollegiate Supreme Court. The Court presides over the Appellate Moot Court Collegiate Challenge (AMC3) at the same time the TISL legislature is meeting each November. AMC3 is a moot court competition for non-law students simulating an appellate court. Colleges form teams of two to five members to prepare a brief and argue a hypothetical case for the petitioner and respondent before the Court through rounds of debate.
Groups of lobbyists advocate for or against legislation pending before the House and Senate by providing information, depending on their firm’s stance on the issue. Lobbyists put into practice skills in persuasion, communication, knowledge of state policies and politics, and more. Previous Lobbying firms have included: Tennessee Healthcare Professionals, Tennessee Small Business, Tennessee Teachers, Organized Labor, and Tennessee Law Enforcement.
During each General Assembly, delegates have the opportunity to run for constitutional office. Officers are elected to serve on the Executive Council that governs the organization for the following year. For more information, visit the Officer page.
“TISL creates an environment where everyone’s intelligence, motivation, passion and
inspiration converge into four days of positive action!”
– Karen Admundson
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