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2016 United States Senate Youth Program

California Qualifying Examination for the 2016 U.S. Senate Youth Program.

Directions: Please type your responses on a separate page. Label each page with your name and your school name.

Section 1

Answer in 300 words or less.

  1. Why are you applying to the U.S. Senate Youth Program and what do you hope to gain from your participation?  What sets you apart from other California delegates applying for this program?
Section 2

Answer two of the following questions in 150 words or less for each question:

  1. Describe at least two ways in which public participation in elections in the United States can be increased.
  2. Do you think that California students should have to pass a test on civics and/or political knowledge to graduate from high school? Why or why not?
  3. Briefly describe the justification for why United States Senators serve longer terms in office than United States Representatives.
Section 3

Respond to as many of the following situations that apply to you in 150 words or less for each response:

  1. Describe a non-school political campaign or electoral activity in which you participated (e.g., phoning for candidates, voter registration, volunteering at polls, signature gathering, etc.). Describe what you learned from it.
  2. Describe what happened at a local government meeting (e.g., board of education, city council, county board of supervisors, etc.) that you attended. Describe what you learned from it.
  3. Describe what you learned from writing a letter to the editor on a political or civic issue that was published in your school newspaper, local newspaper, or a Web site or blog. Enclose a copy of it with this application package.
Section 4

Respond to one of the following five prompts with a well-written and logically organized essay of 750 words or less. Address all parts of the prompt and include specific details and/or examples to support your response.

  1. A relatively large number of candidates are vying for the Republican Party’s 2016 presidential nomination. Will the size of the GOP field make it more or less difficult for the Party’s eventual nominee to win the 2016 general election against the Democrats? Please discuss.
  2. America’s active involvement in global affairs has reignited a debate among U.S. policymakers as to whether the United States’ foreign policy should emphasize principles of isolationism or principles of internationalism. If you were President of the United States, what type of foreign policy would your administration practice: One that emphasizes isolationism; internationalism; or would you favor a third alternative?
  3. The Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate following the 2014 midterm elections meant a return to divided party government with the White House controlled by one party and both houses of Congress controlled by the opposition. Has this new regime reduced the state of gridlock in 2015, or has it made things worse? Can divided party government succeed in the United States today?
  4. What do you believe the role of newscasters and the media in the democratic process should be? Are they the framers of national debates, opinion makers, or do they simply relay facts to the public? Your response can answer any of these questions or address the role of newscasters and the media in a way you see fit.
  5. The United States government, by most accounts, has yet to fully address climate change. A cap and trade system which was meant to deal with climate change failed to garner enough votes to pass the Senate. What role should the United States government play in protecting the environment and in looking for reliable energy solutions?
Questions:   David Carriker | | 916-319-0173
Last Reviewed: Thursday, August 6, 2015
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