National Issues Forum


The National Issues Forum (NIF) is a unique program that offers opportunities for high school delegates to debate and research issues of national and/or international importance. 

In Lansing, the National Issues Forum uses a format where proposals are presented to delegates in four successive rounds (each of increasing size) at “Proposal Hearings”. A Chair leads delegates in each forum.





To involve youth in the problem solving of issues affecting the country and the world


  • To address issues of national and international concern
  • To have every delegate prepare and present a proposal of his/her choosing
  • To consider, debate, discuss and evaluate every proposal in progressively larger forums
  • To provide small forums for debate, discussion and group interaction – allowing each delegate numerous speaking opportunities
  • To train delegates on public speaking, debate, and proposal writing and research
  • To develop traits of leadership, awareness and civic engagement in all delegates
  • To have fun!

Delegate Roles

As a delegate you are responsible for:

  • Independently identifying and researching an issue of national or international importance
  • Writing a one-page proposal on the topic of your choice
  • Preparing and delivering a two-minute speech in favor of your proposal at your initial session hearing and subsequent rounds (should you advance)
  • Participating in the debate and discussion of fellow delegates’ proposals

During the Lansing Conference

  • Every delegate will have several opportunities to speak.
  • Delegates engage in intense discussions, argue in favor of their own proposal and debate the merits and flaws of other delegates’ proposals in four forums/hearings of ever increasing size. (We call these forums “rounds”.)
  • At the end of each round, delegates will rank the proposals presented using specific criteria. Each proposal’s composite score from these rankings determines the proposals that advance to the next round.
  • In General Assembly, (“GA”) the fourth and final round, the top proposals are presented by their author to the entire National Issues Forum, where the proposal is passed or defeated.
State Youth In Government Office
P.O. Box 65
Quincy, Michigan 49082
Phone: (517) 639-4480 - Contact Us
Fax: (517) 639-3525