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Youth Caucus is a Chance to Be Heard

Posted by Jeremie Bateman // June 5th 2013 // Events and Opportunities, GA, youth // no comments

YC_GA Logo 2013 horizontalAmplify your voice

One of the major parts of Youth Caucus every year is the opportunity for youth, regardless of delegate status, to discuss the issues that will be voted upon during Plenary sessions.  When the Caucus feels particularly passionate about a particular issue, they may choose to write a joint statement to be presented by a youth who is also a delegate on the Plenary floor, with the rest of the Caucus standing behind them.  These discussions happen during FUN TIMES sessions and there is one a day on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  They are organized by the FUN TIMES Business Managers, who also help youth delegates craft individual statements, if they wish to speak during Plenary on an issue that the Caucus isn’t addressing as a body.

This year, FUN TIMES is split into two different kinds of sessions.  FUN TIMES: Business Matters I and II (Thursday and Saturday) will be for discussing issues up for vote, including the Statement of Conscience on Immigration as a Moral Issue and Actions of Immediate Witness.  FUN TIMES: Get Connected (Friday) is an opportunity for youth to connect with leaders in the Association and others.  Special guests Eboo Patel, Founder of the Interfaith Youth Core and this year’s Ware Lecturer, and Moderator Candidates Jim Key and Tamara Alex-Payne are some of the folks that youth will get to meet and interact with.

FUN TIMES, in the words of one of the Managers, “is an awesome time for youth to collaborate to get educated on that business that is going on at GA.  Youth get to be involved in big decisions and learn how to make their voice heard.”

And who are the FUN TIMES Managers?

Zac Cooper, of the DuPage UU Church, is the Senior FUN TIMES Manager.  This will be his second GA as Manager and his fifth overall.  We asked Zac what makes FUN TIMES great:

“What makes FUN TIMES great is the amount of impact the youth voice has on the happenings of the association.  During this time, we get to shape our individual and collective ideas on an issue and create the message we want the association to hear.”
Isabelle Marshel, of the First UU Church of Richmond, is the Junior FUN TIMES Manager.  While this is her first GA on staff, she has attended several in the past.  We asked Isabelle what she was excited about for GA:

“This is a really business heavy year, which I think is really cool because when youth are involved with the business of the greater association through things like FUN TIMES or attending plenary themselves, it’s a really cool experience.  I’m really excited for youth and myself to have that feeling of belonging and importance we get from the General Assembly community.”

Links of Interest

Youth Caucus Descriptions and schedule.
GA Program Book
GA Business Agenda
Connect with the Youth Caucus on Facebook

About the Author

Jeremie Bateman is the Leadership Development Associate in the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at the UUA. He can be reached at jbateman@uua.org.
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