The Bell Has Rung!

By: Andrew Harrison
The 2017 Cornhusker Boys’ State has officially began with the ringing of the bell and the presenting of colors. Much like many of the Boys’ State attendees, the men of Bunker Hill are still trying to find their footing for the week. However, we have been told to not fear failure and to make sure that you put yourself out there 100% of the time.
Boys’ State Governor Ruben Aguilar really hit it off with a great speech talking about the three pillars to get through the long week ahead.  He talked about the first pillar being how each attendee should listen to everything, as throughout the week there will be lessons to be learned and elections to be held.  The second Pillar was to always be respectful to everyone and everything, going on through this event we need to realize that we are guest to the campus and to Boys’ State so we need to keep our minds open and just make the most of what we have been given.
For the town of Bunker Hill we have started the week off with a little bit of hesitancy because we have only been able to complete one ice breaker before the first meeting.  I’m sure that many of the boys here are eager to begin with their life changing week, the memories that are going to be made here are going to be some of the best to remember.
Each town has been full of excitement from what was shown off today.  Each town is competing for the win this week and of course to show that each town is the best they need to show that they show a lot of respect and understanding for why we all have been chosen to be here and what that means.
Each boy has been selected for a specific reason, and to really take in all of the excellent with in this group of 400 boys I encourage everyone to find out a little bit about everyone in your town and those alongside you throughout the week.  Keeping this goal in mind throughout the week will further you and your understanding of the people around you and to also broaden your horizons and show you that if you are not used to a lot of diversity that it can be okay and it is not the worst thing that has ever been introduced.
Lastly today we have have been exposed to some of the most wonderful men and women known to the legion.  Many of them support each of us with every amount of respect within them.  Scott Day talked a bit about what it means to be here and what it looks like when you are done with this cam and move on to do great things.  He told us to not fear failure but to despise it with all of our hearts and use it as motivation to keep getting better and better everyday that you are here and to really pull yourself out of your shell and to make the most out of what you have been given and to really be thankful for everything that we take advantage of on a day to day basis.

Towns and Identity

By: Dash Wedergren

Identity. It’s something we naturally cling to and seek out as humans. Whether we find it in our faith, our education, our nation, our skills, our geographic region, our family, or in our values we are always looking to define and redefine ourselves while exploring our relationship with the rest of the world.
Arriving here to Boys’ State can–in some ways–feel like a stripping away of every tangible sign of our identity. We have left almost everything up to this point that has defined us from our family and friends to familiar places and faces.  Without these comforting symbols that clearly establish ourselves and our relationship with our community, it can be difficult and unsettling to adjust to the new environment. Little did we know that before even arriving to Boys’ State the unsettling void of identity would be partially filled by our association with an entirely new organization: our towns.
Towns play a vital role in Boys’ State in everything from general elections to disciplinary action. In the chaos of the first day towns provide a comforting base and a entity bigger than ourselves to belong to. They provide meaningful first connections, a group of familiar faces among the large crowd, and a place to return to at the end of an exhausting day.
While towns provide a powerful shared base, the collective town identity is only as strong as the individual identities and personalities that contribute to it. When we arrive we inherently bring bits and pieces from our personal identities that support our town and provide diversity.
Beyond introductory comfort, towns will surely continue to play a large role in the Boys’ State experience. The bonds that have already been forged will be strengthened as the week progresses and towns find distinct experiences and relationships to define themselves.
Perhaps the most defining part of a town’s identity is its rivalries with other towns, so acknowledge and embrace the differences as it strengthens the entire community.

Many Look to Legislature to Pass Landmark Legislation

By: Peter Owens
The Government of Cornhusker Boys State is poised to begin active service after a year of recess. Returning from the previous session is Governor Ruben Aguilar, a graduate of Lincoln North Star High School. Joining him will be the newest delegation of the Cornhusker Boys State Legislature, who will soon begin to campaign in each of their individual towns. Together, they will debate, pass, and ultimately sign a plethora of new legislation into the law books of this great state.
Many groups from all across the state will be looking to pass legislation on a number of issues. These issues range from the death penalty to the legalization of marijuana, to the manner in which Boys Staters are tucked into bed each night.
The Death Penalty is poised to be a object of large contention at this years Boys State. After a November ballot measure overturned the previous ban of the practice legislators on both sides of the issue will seek to address this issue. The argument in many cases boils down to public safety for many supporters of the action. They argue that the death penalty is needed to punish the most heinous of crimes, as well as provide further punishment while in prison to protect the safety of prison guards, especially after the prison riots that have taken place in the Nebraska prison system. Detractors argue that the death penalty does not actually work to stop people from committing these crimes, and that life in prison is an adequate sentence in almost every case. Another key issue is the scarcity of the lethal injection drugs needed to execute a sentence.
The legalization of marijuana is a debate that has begun in almost every state across the country. States like Colorado and Washington, among others have legalized recreational marijuana while even more have legalized just medical marijuana. The argument for this proposition rest mainly on the personal liberties of the citizens of the state. They argue that the state should not put people in prison for using a drug that does little to actively hurt anyone else, especially when drugs like alcohol are widely abused and legal. They opposition show the negative affects that marijuana has on the brain, especially in those still developing. The societal affects, they argue, far outweigh the threat to liberty argued by the supporters.
Lastly, the legislature looks set to debate the “nighty-night” bill once again. This landmark piece of legislation will shape the way that the Boys Staters interact with their counselors for the entire week. The act of tucking each Boys Stater into bed will create a lasting sense of community and ensure that not Boys Staters are engaged in any kind of illicit nocturnal activities. The opposition to this legislation again rests in the debate of personal liberties, as some argue it is a breach of privacy.
In the end, the Cornhusker Boys State government will elect legislators to debate these key issues. The democratic process that is at the bedrock of our nation will work to solve the issues between the citizens of our state and the legislature will vote to pass meaningful legislation.