You can now log in and see your letter grades for 297. It will be a few days until I post them to the university's records, so let me know promptly if there are errors. Otherwise, this is it.
You're welcome to come thumb through the exam and see what you missed.
The average was 85. High score was 97. I've looked carefully over the Testing Center's statistical report and concluded that I don't need to drop any questions.
However, I do want to address a couple things that confused some folks.
If you have a mass email, always always ALWAYS put the list in BCC, not TO. See the handbook for the reason. This is a big deal. You can really embarrass your legislator.
The "uniform school fund" is the statewide education fund, which gets its revenue mostly from income tax. Although most property taxes go to schools, they don't go into this (statewide) fund. Rather, they go directly to local school districts.
"Suspension of the rules" means you're bypassing the usual procedures. Hearing a bill that is already on the 3rd reading calendar is not suspension of the rules. That's just following the rules.
Sales tax goes to the General Fund. Income tax goes to the Uniform School Fund.
The party's collective incentive is to pass bills that promote the party brand (and, by extension, to suppress bills that cause factional dissent). The individual legislator's incentive, meanwhile, is to provide for a safe reelection via advertising, credit claiming, and position taking.
The House majority leadership includes the Speaker, majority leader, majority whip, assistant majority whip, Rules chair, and Executive Appropriations co-chair. It does not include the Ethics co-chair.
Utah's entire statutory law is contained in the Utah Code.
GRAMA most clearly applies to written communications. Letters and emails are clearly included. Text messages are a gray area. Oral communications (like phone calls) are not included.
You guys did great with map flashcards. With legislator flashcards, you did great with leaders and okay with committee chairs. With rank and file legislators, it was only marginally better than guessing. Although the exam is over, I strongly encourage you to master those flashcards before the session starts. It can only help you.
I won't be in at all today. Bleh. I'm responding to emails as I can this afternoon.
A UVU student who lives near the Provo Temple is working during the session (not sure if for a lobbyist or a legislator) and wants to carpool. If you're in a carpool and have an extra seat, let me know and I'll put you in touch.
Remember to take the exam today.
I apologize to those of you who were planning to visit me today, but it appears I've got a bug. I might be in this afternoon, I don't know.
If you were planning to visit me to do a makeup from a missed class, then just get me the written part of the makeup (by email or hard copy) and we'll call it good.
If you sent me an email to correct something in my gradebook, I'll get to it later.
I'll probably be on email on and off today if you have questions.
This course moves so quickly that errors happen. Lots of them. And I'm seeing lots of things in my gradebook that look like errors, but I can't fix them unless you tell me for sure that they are errors.
For example, I'm seeing lots of students who are marked absent but who never did the makeup assignment. That's a 5% penalty to your grade for each missed class. I'm guessing that several of the absences I have down are actually tardies, or people who actually did the makeup assignment but I forgot to put it down.
I also have 4 people down as not having submitted the last skills assignment. That seems off. I'm wondering if they put their assignments into the stack with the 399r assignments or something.
The point: PLEASE log in TODAY and click "check my grade" on the course website. If anything surprises you there, send me a note. It's easy to fix now. It's much harder to fix after I post grades to the university.
Several of you were assigned to 2 legislators. I'm learning that some of you heard about only one of them by email.
Log into the course website and click "check my grades" and you'll see ALL legislators that I have you down as working for. If it lists different people than you thought you were working for, let me know so I can report to LRGC.
You should have all heard by now who you are working for. Some of you haven't. Apparently there were some email issues yesterday in the legislature. They are asking me to provide them with two pieces of information, so please send me an email if either of these apply to you:
(1) Have you logged into your legislative email within the past week? (If not, or if you don't know how or are unable, please tell me ASAP.)
(2) Did you receive a notification by email of who you are working for? (If not, let me know; I have that information and I can tell you.)
You've probably already figured this out, but there is a typo in the instructions for Assignment B. It says to visit the 2012 General Session page to find bill requests. Obviously it's the 2013 session page this year, not 2012.
Also, when it asks for an ideology score, you'll discover that I haven't posted new ones since the 2011 session, so when it asks for the most recent score, that's what you should use.
I've got 20 minutes to frantically prepare for lecture. But yes, I'm here, and yes, we'll meet.
If you need to visit, I'm here, but given my need to hurry and prepare for lecture, I'd prefer to address non-urgent questions during or after class rather than before.
Just to clarify on what I told you this morning: Assume we WILL hold class today unless you hear from me otherwise. My wife and all my boys have the same bug, so I'll be home until class starts tending to them. I expect to be able to come to class, though.
I understand you'll receive your legislator assignments today. They will be sent to your legislative email address. Keep an eye on that address. Do assignments A, B, and C (from the 399r syllabus) as soon as possible. If you receive your assignment before 5pm today, then asst A is due in class tomorrow. I would encourage you to do assts A and B immediately, though, if possible.
You should get in touch with your legislator(s) within 24 hours or so of hearing who you'll work for. It's wise to finish assts A and B first if possible.
Please log into the course website and click "check my grades" in the right-hand sidebar. (Visit with me if you have trouble retrieving your password.) Ensure that I have recorded your attendance correctly.
Also, take a look at your score on the first skills assignment. I'll pass those back today. The average was in the low 90s. Some of you made mistakes that will cause you to slap your forehead. This assignment isn't worth so much that a score in the 80s will prevent you from doing well overall, as long as you're careful to avoid those forehead-slapping mistakes going forward.
When I pass it back, please be sure to thoroughly understand each mistake you made. I encourage you to visit with me to go over them, especially if your score was below 85ish. It's imperative that you master the legislative website before your internship starts. (Don't worry; the assignment due on Monday will give you yet another chance to practice. I'm sure you're thrilled.)
I probably won't be in until 10am today, so if you're planning to stop in for any reason, make it between 10 and 2.
Parenthood is wonderful, but cleaning up vomit at 3am—not so much.
From what I hear, it looks like you're learn very soon who you will work for. Some of you have heard already.
Once you do know who you're working for, you'll have three assignments (assignments A, B, and C) due for PlSc 399r; check that syllabus for details. You also might get a request from your legislator to start working immediately (part time). You must still complete PlSc 297, however.
I strongly, strongly encourage you to get ahead (if you haven't already) on readings and written assignments over the next couple days.
We had several latecomers to class on Tuesday. Remember that turning in an assignment after I've started class will result in a late penalty. Check the syllabus for details. I expect punctuality.
Speaking of which, I appreciated your punctuality yesterday. At times the staff orientation has the feeling of "here's all the bad things you shouldn't do," but those are important messages. My attendance is not expected at those orientations, but I attend every year so I can stay current with what they're telling you. That makes it possible for me to serve as a reference if you have questions. Please talk to me if any questions arise.
We'll meet today at 1:45pm in the Hall of Governors, which is in the basement of the Capitol building directly below the rotunda. Don't be late or you'll have trouble finding us. You have my cell phone just in case. We'll finish up around 5:30 this evening.
Be sure to have lots of good questions to ask today. When you're invited to ask a question, I want to see LOTS of hands go up. Check the syllabus entry for today's date for further instructions about what will happen today.
I'll be in my BYU office until around noon today, when I'll depart for the Capitol. I'll be here if you have questions about anything (such as the assignment due tomorrow).
If you carpool, make sure you make arrangements for gas money. It's about 50 miles to the Capitol from BYU, which makes a 100 mile round trip. With 20 MPG, that's 5 gallons; with 30 MPG, that's 3.3 gallons. At $2.90/gallon, that will be around $10-$15 per trip to divide around amongst yourselves.
If you haven't already, I suggest you take a moment to retrieve your password for the website. Once you are logged in, you'll be able to click "View Roster" and send emails to other students.
Some of you are asking me about next week's schedule. That's understandable, since I told you in the orientation that we wouldn't meet strictly on the 3-5pm schedule shown in the course catalog.
Just to clarify, I will insert notes into the syllabus on days when we will meet at something other than the regular time. The schedule for Monday through Thursday of next week is firm. We'll meet at the scheduled time (3-5pm) on Monday and Tuesday; we'll be in the capitol on Wednesday and Thursday. If anything requires you to miss a class, there is a procedure described in the syllabus that you should follow.
This is a different experience than other courses you have taken. We'll get to know each other more closely than is typical in a college course. Please come visit with me if you have questions. I don't schedule formal office hours for PlSc 297, since my door is always open to you during this semester.
See you Monday.
I hope you had a refreshing break. It's almost time to get to work.
If you keep your Social Security card, passport, or other identification at home rather than at your BYU address for some reason, make sure you bring it with you when you come back to Provo. A U.S. passport is ideal if you have one. You'll need those documents for hiring purposes when we travel to the capitol next week.
We have our first meeting of PlSc 297 on Monday. There are over 100 pages that you should read before that first day of class. Review the PlSc 297 syllabus in advance so we can hit the ground running. (You should also review the PlSc 399r syllabus.)
I'm looking forward to getting started. Get in touch if you have questions.
Good luck finishing up your fall semester finals. Two things.
First: You can now buy the handbook for the legislative internship in the bookstore. It's $13. It's a packet, so it's filed with me as the author. (That would be "Brown, Adam." Just to clarify.)
Second: If you've looked at the PlSc 297 syllabus, you've noticed that there are map flashcards and legislator flashcards. The legislator flashcards needed some post-election updating. That's done now, with a caveat: I don't have photos yet for the newly-elected legislators (give it a week or two). However, you can start working on the flashcards for legislative leaders over the break; none of them are freshmen. You'll memorize all the flashcards by the time PlSc 297 wraps up, so may as well start now.
Have a wonderful Christmas. Remember to read over the 297 syllabus and get a jump on readings a few days before coming back to campus.
Congratulations on being admitted to the Utah legislative internship program for winter 2013. I will periodically post announcements to this site. The most recent announcement will always appear at the top.
We will meet daily from the first day of winter semester until the legislative session starts. We will also schedule a few meetings outside our regular time slot. You should be available all day, every day, starting from the first day of the semester.
You should have no other commitments between January 7 and March 14. Do not register for any classes, not even in the BYU Salt Lake Center, and do not expect to have any other employment. Do not schedule your wedding or anything else during this period.
I look forward to meeting all of you. You are welcome to come by my office (772 SWKT) any time to introduce yourself.