Office location: 772 SWKT
Office hours: Stop by any time or text/email to make an appointment.
This one syllabus covers both Poli 397 and Poli 399r. However, these are two separate courses, with separate purposes, and your grade will be calculated separately for each. Generally speaking, any assignments relating to your assigned legislator or to your time in the Legislature are part of Poli 399r, while assignments about Utah politics generally or about professional skills are part of Poli 397.
Poli 397 is a preparatory course addressing Utah politics generally. It includes a textbook on Utah politics, a handbook summarizing internship skills, a series of skills-building assignments, several lectures and briefings, and a final exam. Poli 397 lasts only a few weeks and concludes before the legislative session begins. You must complete Poli 397 successfully to participate in the internship.
Poli 399r is the vehicle for awarding you credit for your internship experience. Poli 399r spans the entire semester. Before the session, you will conduct background research on your assigned legislator; during the session, you will work hard and complete a brief mid-session report; and after the session, you will submit a portfolio and possibly a term paper reflecting on what you have learned.
The U.S. Congress employs thousands of support staff, most of whom work for a specific member of Congress. An average U.S. Senator has 39 personal staffers, and an average U.S. Representative has 16. Likewise, in most states each legislator has at least a few staffers working for him or her.
Utah is the exception. Members of the Utah Legislature have no personal staff. There is some shared staff, of course; for example, each legislative committee has a couple shared staffers that help legislators draft and analyze bills. But individual Utah legislators do not have any personal staff.
As a result, Utah's legislators rely heavily on their interns for assistance and advice. Congressional interns typically report to a Representative's or Senator's junior staffer, but legislative interns here in Utah work directly with their legislators. You can have much more meaningful experiences working with your Utah legislator than you would have working in a large Congressional office. But to succeed, you will need to be as useful to your legislator as an office full of personal staff.
My task is to prepare you as well as possible for that role so that you can be as successful as BYU interns have been in the past. Toward that end, we will cover several topics in the preparation course:
In addition to these academic topics, we will also conduct several skill-building exercises. You will learn to read and summarize legislation, draft talking points, analyze a constituent survey, reply to constituent correspondence, and so on.
Along the way, I hope you will make an effort to acquaint yourselves with one another. To be successful, you will need to work together throughout your internships.
BYU does not give credit simply for doing an internship. (This is based on a university policy; it is not specific to this internship.) Generally, BYU sees the internship as its own reward, given that it provides solid experience, a significantly strengthened resumé, wonderful networking opportunities, and (in this case) modest payment. Indeed, there are many internships you can arrange on your own without receiving any college credit at all, if you so choose.
So what is the role of college credit (and thus Poli 399r) in an internship? BYU happily awards academic credit for internships to the extent that you demonstrate meaningful learning. Although Poli 399r will involve only a handful of class meetings, you will need to submit several assignments. These assignments will allow you to show off exactly what you have learned, justifying the Poli 399r credits you receive.
Again, Poli 399r credit is not for the work experience, but rather for the learning. No matter how well you perform during your internship, do not expect to receive an automatic A for Poli 399r. Your grade will depend on the quality of the academic work you submit as much as on your performance in the Legislature.
The political science department has established specific learning outcomes to ensure that all our graduates grow spiritually and intellectually. Poli 397 and 399r emphasize these learning outcomes especially:
Each university has a different administration that sets different policies about internship credit. You will learn during your internship that interns from other schools get different amounts of credit than you. Some interns receive no credit. (You may meet BYU students interning for the attorney general, the governor, or a lobbyist, for example; they generally receive no credit.) Some schools grant 12 credits. Most tie all the credit up into a single course number; at BYU, it is separated across Poli 397 and 399r. Sometimes, BYU interns are frustrated to learn that some interns elsewhere earn more credits. Remember, however, that you will receive exactly as many credit hours as you were promised when you applied, just like the laborers in Matthew 20:13.
Poli 397. You will receive 2.0 credits for the preparation class, Poli 397, held during the first weeks of January. Poli 397 will be graded as rigorously as other political science courses; it is not a free "A" merely for participating. You receive 2.0 credits because you do two-thirds as much work as in a 3.0 credit class, not because the work is easier. The university catalog says you should expect "three hours of work per week per credit hour for the average student who is appropriately prepared; much more time may be required to achieve excellence [i.e. an A]." Most courses last 14 weeks, implying 84 hours of work to earn 2.0 credits. We will do that work in 2-3 weeks, so expect to work very hard. Students who treat this class as an easy A are often disappointed in their final grade.
Poli 399r. You will receive 3.0 or 6.0 credits (your choice) for the actual internship and related coursework as part of Poli 399r during winter semester. Once the university's add/drop deadline passes, you cannot change how much Poli 399r credit you are registered for. Read this syllabus before the add-drop deadline and consider carefully how much credit you would like to earn and how much written work you would like to do after the internship. (In years past, we required all interns to complete 6.0 credit hours. We created the 3.0 credit option to accommodate students who do not need the credit hours to graduate and prefer to pay part-time tuition. If earning 6.0 credits won't speed your graduation plans, save yourself the tuition money and register for only 3.0 credits.)
Optional second block courses. Together, Poli 397 and Poli 399r will earn you up to 8.0 credits (assuming you take 6.0 credits of Poli 399r). If you wish to earn more credits this semester, you can enroll in Poli 314 or Poli 465 for second block. You may have noticed that second block starts before the internship ends. Don't worry: The department offers these second-block electives specifically for returning legislative interns, meaning that these classes don't get fully underway until after the internship ends. Expect the instructors to compensate for the lost class time by asking you to complete some readings or other assignments on your own while the internship is still in progress. (You may register for second block courses offered by other departments if you wish, but you will need to make arrangements with the instructor to miss the first several days of class; not all instructors will agree to this.)
You should consider a minor in Civic Engagement. BYU offers an interdisciplinary minor in Civic Engagement. The minor requires only 15 hours of course work. Since Poli 397 and 399r both count toward the minor, this internship can get you more than halfway there if you choose to complete 6 credits of Poli 399r.
Don't skip work. Legislative staff will fire interns who shirk their responsibilities, resulting in a failing grade in Poli 399r. Even if your legislator isn't keeping you busy, you need to be in the Capitol. After all, you are an employee of LRGC, not of your legislator, and if your legislator is not keeping you busy LRGC may have work for you elsewhere.
What if I become sick or unable to work? If you must miss work for any reason, contact both your legislator and Ryan Hunter, the LRGC internship coordinator. Contacting Ryan is important; he might have underused interns who can assist your legislator while you are ill. If you miss more than one or two days over the course of the internship, contact me (in addition to Ryan and your legislator) to prevent damage to your Poli 399r grade.
Can I take other courses or hold another job during my internship? No. You will give 100% of your time to the Legislature from the morning of the General Session's opening day until midnight on the last day. You should also be available to your legislator for part-time work during the 2-3 weeks prior to the General Session. (If requests for pre-session work conflict with Poli 397, talk to me.) Do not enroll in any other winter semester class, not even at the Salt Lake Center, unless it will not require any work until after the legislative session ends in March.
Your Poli 397 grade will reflect the following, all of which will be completed prior to the General Session:
|2.0 credits||Poli 397 assignments|
|6%||Skills assignment: Constituent survey, part 1 (see below)|
|9%||Skills assignment: Constituent survey, part 2 (see below)|
|7%||Skills assignment: Legislative website (see http://utahlegprep.org/)|
|7%||Skills assignment: Bill tracking (see http://utahlegprep.org/)|
|9%||Skills assignment: Bill summaries and talking points (see http://utahlegprep.org/)|
|7%||Skills assignment: Constituent emails (see http://utahlegprep.org/)|
|55%||Final exam on everything: Readings, lectures/briefings, legislator flashcards, map flashcards, skills.|
Your Poli 399r grade includes assignments completed before, during, and after the General Session. Grades are calculated differently depending on whether you register for 3.0 or 6.0 credits of Poli 399r:
|3.0 credits||6.0 credits||Poli 399r assignments|
|16%||10%||Pre-session: Research your Legislator (see http://utahlegprep.org/)|
|3%||2%||Pre-session: Meet your Legislator (see http://utahlegprep.org/)|
|3%||2%||Mid-session report (instructions)|
|40%||26%||General internship performance (includes legislator's evaluation)|
|38%||30%||Portfolio of internship activities (instructions)|
|—||30%||Term paper or project (instructions)|
What does "general internship performance" mean? Your legislator's written evaluation is only one input here. I visit the Capitol frequently during legislative sessions, and I talk to a lot of people there about how BYU interns are doing. A glowing evaluation from your legislator does not automatically require me to grant full credit for this portion of your grade. That being said, you will do well on this portion of your grade if you stay busy during the internship and if you follow the advice in your handbook. The vast majority of BYU interns perform wonderfully. I visit the Capitol regularly during the session; talk to me if you have concerns.
Recognize that your performance in the internship will influence far more of your score than the "General internship performance" category implies. Your portfolio also serves as a significant measure of your internship performance. No matter how many credits you register for, your portfolio and your general performance combine to determine more than half your grade in Poli 399r. Your internship performance matters tremendously for your grade.
You will submit assignments differently before the session than after.
Before the session, submit assignments for Poli 397 and Poli 399r to email@example.com by 11:59pm on the due date; PLEASE PLEASE put the assignment title as your email's subject line. Please don't send completed assignments to my regular email address; they need to go firstname.lastname@example.org so my TA can access them. And please don't send anything but completed assignments to this address; all other communications should go to my regular email address. Format each pre-session assignment as a memorandum unless instructed otherwise. Attach your memorandum as a PDF to your email. You will want to read this: How to write a memo. You may also be interested in this, by the way: How to write a business letter.
Pre-session late assignment policy: Pre-session assignments are due at 11:59pm on the due date. Anything submitted on the next calendar day is a 10% penalty; two calendar days is a 25% penalty; later is unacceptable without a very good reason. If something legitimate (serious illness, car accident) makes your assignment late, contact me as soon as possible to work things out.
After the session, submit assignments for Poli 399r (portfolio, term paper) to me (hard copy) by 4:45pm on the due date. If I am in my office, you may bring them to me directly. If I am away, place them in the drop box near the 7th floor SWKT elevators. Please do not email these assignments or slide them under my door. (I will accept postal mailed portfolios and emailed term papers if you will not live near BYU after the internship concludes.) If your portfolio is too big for the drop box, give it to the political science secretaries.
Post-session late assignment policy: Because post-session assignments are hand-delivered, they are due at 4:45pm on their due date. Anything submitted after the office closes will be considered a day late. Up to one weekday late gets a 5% penalty; two weekdays late gets a 10% penalty; three weekdays late gets a 25% penalty; later is unacceptable.
Attendance and participation are essential. There are likely to be last-minute changes to our schedule, so keep your schedule flexible.
Each missed meeting will result in a 5% penalty to your course grade. Missed meetings held prior to the General Session affect your Poli 397 grade; missed meetings held after the session affect your Poli 399r grade. (There is only one post-session meeting.) Avoid these penalties by noting all meetings, including the post-session meeting, on your personal calendar.
If you are sick or have an unavoidable conflict, ask me (promptly) to excuse the absence. If I do, I will allow you to make up the lecture. If I excuse you from the post-session meeting (for Poli 399r), I will provide you with makeup instructions. If I excuse you from a pre-session meeting (for Poli 397), follow these instructions to waive the 5% penalty: Get a copy of the day's notes from one or two other BYU students (ideally two). Download any PowerPoint slides that may relate to the material you missed. Review all materials and write a 1-2 page summary in your own words. If review questions or a terms list were provided for the material you missed, follow your summary with an answer to each review question and a definition of each term in your own words. Finally, list any lingering questions that you may have about the missed material. When you are done, submit your makeup assignment to me in person (outside of class) so that we can discuss your questions. This make-up assignment (including the meeting with me) is due within 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) of your absence. Please make an appointment by email to ensure that you do not miss the 72 hour deadline. Late penalties are described elsewhere in this syllabus.
You will find a list of required materials at http://utahlegprep.org/, which is an information website used by interns from all universities during our joint training course. Refer to the Poli 397 and 399r syllabus (i.e. this document) for policies specific to BYU students; refer to http://utahlegprep.org/ for the schedule and list of materials. Expect the schedule to change at short notice.
Many students struggle with the following terminology. Just to be clear:
Please read this. It is not just the usual boilerplate that comes at the end of each syllabus. You will be working in a professional environment where you must be familiar with this information about sexual harassment.
By law, Brigham Young University is obligated to protect its students from gender discrimination, including unlawful sexual harassment, in all programs and activities sponsored by the university. As you embark on your internship, please be aware of what constitutes sexual harassment and what you should do if you encounter it during your internship opportunity.
Definition. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when
Examples. Behaviors that contribute to a hostile environment include, but are not limited to:
Appropriate response. Both employers and employees have a responsibility to prevent and stop workplace harassment. If you experience harassment while participating in a BYU-sponsored internship, report the behavior to your internship coordinator (i.e. either me or Scott Dunaway) and your experience provider (Ryan Hunter, the Legislature's internship coordinator). They will take appropriate action to address and correct the behavior. You may also contact the university's Equal Opportunity Manager directly or use the 24-hour hotline:
I take these issues very seriously. So does BYU. Don't remain silent.
While all students sign the honor code, there are still specific skills most students need to master over time in order to correctly cite sources, especially online sources, as well as deal with the stress and strain of college life without resorting to cheating. As your professor, I will notice instances of cheating on exams or plagiarizing on papers. Even if the plagiarism was unintentional, it will have serious consequences for your grade. General information about the honor code can be found at http://honorcode.byu.edu. Details about Academic Honesty are found in the university catalog
Writing submitted for credit at BYU must consist of the student's own ideas presented in sentences and paragraphs of the student's own construction. The work of other writers or speakers may be included when appropriate (as in a research paper or book review), but such material must support the student's own work (not substitute for it) and must be clearly identified by appropriate introduction ("According to so-and-so...") and punctuation (such as quotation marks) and by footnoting or other standard referencing. Take care with your notetaking to track sources and to differentiate quotations you have jotted down from paraphrases you have written.
Substituting another person's work for the student's own or including another person's work without adequate acknowledgment (whether done intentionally or not) is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a violation of academic, ethical, moral, and legal standards and can result in a failing grade not only for the paper but also for the course in which the paper is written. In extreme cases, it can justify expulsion from the University. Because of the seriousness of these consequences, students who wonder if their papers are within these guidelines should visit the Writing Lab or consult with their professor or TA. Useful books to consult on the topic include the current Harbrace College Handbook, the MLA Handbook, and James D. Lester's Writing Research Papers.
Most lifelong mental illnesses emerge in adolescence and early adulthood—the typical college students' age. If you experience frequent sadness, worry, fear, inability to focus, nightmares, forgetfulness, or extreme mood changes; if you are withdrawing socially, avoiding friends and social activities; if you experience significant changes in sleeping habits or eating habits; if you are abusing alcohol, prescription medications, or other substances; or if you are thinking about hurting yourself, then please talk to somebody. You may find that all is well, but please find out.
Mental health concerns and stressful life events can affect students' academic performance and quality of life. BYU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS, 1500 WSC, 801-422-3035, https://caps.byu.edu) provides individual, couples, and group counseling, as well as stress management services. These services are confidential and are provided by the university at no cost for full-time students. For general information please visit https://caps.byu.edu. For more immediate concerns please visit http://help.byu.edu.
Discrimination and misconduct: As required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the university prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. Title IX also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. University policy requires any university employee in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report incidents of sexual misconduct (such as sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking) that come to their attention through face-to-face conversation, a written class assignment, class discussion, email, social media post, or other means. If you have been a victim of a crime, call the police. If you encounter unlawful sexual misconduct or gender based discrimination, please contact the Title IX Coordinator at email@example.com or 801-422-2130, or via Ethics Point (https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062, 24-hours). Additional information about Title IX and resources available to you can be found at titleix.byu.edu.
Disabilities: Brigham Young University is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have any disability which may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the University Accessibility Center (801-422-2767). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by the UAC office. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures. Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Office at 801-422-5895, D-282 ASB
Accommodation letters: If you desire accommodations based on a letter written on your behalf by the University Accessibility Center, please deliver the letter to me in person (not by email) so we can have a face-to-face conversation about appropriate accommodations. These are important conversations; if you are unable to come during my office hours, email me to schedule an appointment at another time.
You will find additional scheduling information at http://utahlegprep.org/.
|Mon, Jan 2nd, 2017. Start working from home.|
|Tue, Jan 3rd, 2017. Keep working from home. See http://utahlegprep.org/ for schedule.|
|Wed, Jan 4th, 2017. Keep working from home. See http://utahlegprep.org/ for schedule.|
|Thu, Jan 5th, 2017. Keep working from home.|
|DUE||Bill tracking. Rather than use the instructions at the joint website, use these clearer alternative instructions|
|FYI||Once you get part 1 of the constituent survey assignment back, start working on part 2, which is due soon.|
|Fri, Jan 6th, 2017. LRGC training in Capitol. Mandatory. Contact me immediately if you have a conflict.|
|DUE||LRGC training day|
|Mon, Jan 9th, 2017. Lectures and briefings in Capitol. See http://utahlegprep.org/ for schedule.|
|DUE||Constituent survey skills, part 2. This one is just for BYU interns. Submit your memo by email.|
|Tue, Jan 10th, 2017. Lectures and briefings in Capitol. See http://utahlegprep.org/ for schedule.|
|Wed, Jan 11th, 2017. Lectures and briefings in Capitol. See http://utahlegprep.org/ for schedule.|
|Thu, Jan 12th, 2017. Lectures and briefings in Capitol. See http://utahlegprep.org/ for schedule.|
|Fri, Jan 13th, 2017. Lectures and briefings in Capitol. See http://utahlegprep.org/ for schedule.|
|Wed, Jan 18th, 2017. Poli 397 final exam.|
|DUE||Final exam opens|
|Thu, Jan 19th, 2017.|
|DUE||Final exam closes|
|FYI||If you come after 5pm, the Testing Center requires a late fee.|
|Fri, Jan 20th, 2017. Heads up.|
|FYI||As you will see at http://utahlegprep.org/, there is an assignment due today.|
|Mon, Jan 23rd, 2017.|
|DUE||First day of session. Be there bright and early.|
|Fri, Feb 10th, 2017.|
|DUE||Mid-session report (instructions).|
|NEXT TIME: Fri, Feb 24th, 2017.|
|DUE||Term paper proposal (see the term paper instructions; 6.0 credit students only).|
|Tue, Mar 7th, 2017.|
|DUE||Evaluation letter reminder|
|FYI||Remember to talk to your legislator(s) about an evaluation around now if you haven't already; see the portfolio instructions.|
|Thu, Mar 9th, 2017.|
|DUE||Sine die. (Last day of session.)|
|Tue, Mar 14th, 2017. Post-session meeting|
|FYI||Meet from 9am-11am in 948 SWKT. Failure to attend will result in the grade penalties noted above. No readings, but be prepared to talk about what you learned and how the internship preparation materials can be improved for future interns.|
|Thu, Mar 16th, 2017.|
|DUE||Portfolio and evaluation early submissions (instructions).|
|Fri, Mar 24th, 2017.|
|DUE||Portfolio and evaluation (instructions). Please read "Where to turn assignments in" above.|
|Fri, Mar 31st, 2017.|
|DUE||Term paper early submissions (instructions)|
|FYI||Papers received by 4:45pm today receive a 3% bonus. Please read "Where to turn assignments in" above.|
|Tue, Apr 11th, 2017.|
|DUE||Term paper (instructions; 6.0 credit students only).|
|FYI||Please read "Where to turn assignments in" above.|