COLORADO LEGISLATIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
CSU’s Colorado Legislative Internship program has been working with the Colorado General Assembly in Denver each spring semester for more than 30 years. Selected seniors and juniors travel to the Capitol each Tuesday and Thursday and function as interns for individual House and Senate members and occasionally for lobbyists. The internship experience varies from student to student and from one legislator to another, but generally includes some research, communication with constituents, attendance at committee hearings, observation of chamber floor work, clerical and errand activity and more. Students are placed with their legislative sponsors by the internship program director; if students have legislator or political party preferences, efforts are made to accommodate them. Interns may be subject to a background check, as are all legislative employees and volunteers.
Students from all majors may apply. It is good to have some social science or political science course background, but one need not be a Political Science major. Preference is given to graduating seniors, and then to juniors with excellent records. As good performance and absolute reliability are critical in the legislature, those qualities are paramount when considering applicants.
Students enroll in six academic credits (POLS 486A). Three of the six credits may count towards the Political Science major. Interns who have not previously taken POLS 304 Legislative Politics must enroll in that course as well. Academic assignments include (1) maintenance of a daily journal; (2) completion of a semester-end paper; and (3) daily reading of legislative reporting in the printed news. Grading is by letter grade, plus-minus, and is based upon the quality of the journal and paper, appraisal by the legislators, attendance at any meeting called on campus or in the capitol, and reliability.
Schedule and Attendance
The internship begins in mid-January and runs to the end of the semester. Students meet on campus at 7:20 am and depart from the Capitol at 4:00 pm. In instances of bad weather and dangerous road conditions, we do not attempt the trip to Denver.
The performance and appearance of interns makes a statement about themselves and about Colorado State University. They must conduct themselves in responsible fashion, be courteous, dependable and prompt, and dress professionally. Similarly, they may expect others to treat them with courtesy and respect. While interns retain their rights of expression as citizens they may not, as per legislature rules, lobby, testify before committees or function as reporters.
Interns may travel in university vans, or provide their own transportation through self-generated car pools or personal vehicles. Those who travel in university vans pay a transportation fee.
An application form and application instructions is available from the Political Science Department office (Clark C346) the last week of September.
For more information
Contact Dr. John Straayer