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Student Government Day

Why You Should Participate and What You Will Learn

The Student Government Day program provides high school students who live in Tacoma or attend Tacoma Public Schools with an opportunity to learn more about the policy-making processes and operations of municipal government.  As an attendee you will:

  • Meet with the Mayor, City Council Members, city executives, and staff to talk about important issues
  • Learn about the services provided by city government
  • Play the role of the Mayor, Council Members or city staff members in a Mock City Council Meeting

  • Learn about emerging, important issues for the City of Tacoma

  • Gain firsthand knowledge of how the City provides core services to the community
  • Learn how these services or issues impact you now and in the future

Schedule of Events

On Student Government Day, Tuesday, November 14, 2017, this was the schedule of events for all participants.


7:35 AM

Students will check-in with their respective Tacoma Public High Schools and will then be released to the Office. Students will then be bused to the Tacoma Municipal Building.


8:15 AM

Arrive at the Tacoma Municipal Building (TMB) at 747 Market Street. Please bring picture identification with you for security purposes. Tacoma Public School students will be provided transportation from the students' respective high schools to the Tacoma Municipal Building. All other students will need to provide their own transportation or contact staff to arrange bus vouchers.


8:30 AM to 9 AM

Overview of the day’s activities, logistical outline, expectations for student behavior and an introduction to Municipal Government.

Introductions to Departments and Department Liaisons

9 AM to 10 AM

Introduction to departmental liaisons and concurrent career panel. During the career panel students will learn more about specific jobs within municipal government.


Meet & Greet with Department Liaisons

10 AM to 10:15 AM

Students will have a chance to get to know the Department liaisons better and to learn more about their work.

Tour of Departments

10:15 AM to 10:50 AM
The departmental visits and tours are designed for students to learn about the day-to-day operations of the employees in the City Government and understand how the various departments and offices of the government function. 

Lunch with City Council

11 AM to 11:45 AM

Lunch with the City Council. Your lunch will be provided by the City of Tacoma.

Public Safety Headquarter Tours

Noon to 2:30 PM

Students will have the opportunity to tour the Headquarters of the Tacoma Fire Department and the Tacoma Police Department.


Time Place
Noon - 1 PM

Tacoma Fire Department

901 Fawcett Avenue

Tacoma, WA 98402

1 PM - 2:15 PM

Tacoma Police Headquarters

3701 South Pine Street 

Tacoma, WA 98421

Mock City Council Preparation & Discussion

2:35 PM to 4 PM

The discussion session will include preparing for the Mock City Council Meeting, producing an ordinance or resolution, and reviewing scripts.

Mock City Council Meeting

4 PM to 4:30 PM

The Mock City Council Meeting is set for students to learn how the City Council business meetings are conducted and how decisions for the City are adopted.

Before the Mock City Council Meeting students will vote for five students to act as the Mayor and four Council Members. The rest of the students will be assigned to departments to discuss and decide on proposed budget allocation and priorities for the City. Students will then present them in the meeting where the assigned Mayor and Council Members will vote for approval.


Students will then fill out a feedback form to provide input about the day and will submit the completed Student Government Day worksheet.


Students will take a group photo with Mayor and City Council. If you wish to participate in the group photo, then you must submit a completed image release form.

City Council Meeting

5-5:15 PM

Students will be recognized by the Mayor during the Proclamations and Recognitions portion of the agenda.  Students are free to leave after the conclusion of the Recognition.


Bus vouchers will be made available to any student needing to use public transportation to return to their place residence. Please contact staff for more information.


Responsibilities of the Participants 


  • Students will start the day at their home rooms and will be released to the office of their High Schools. Students will then be bused to the Tacoma Municipal Building by Tacoma Public Schools. 
  • Complete the Student Government Day Worksheet throughout the course of the day.
  • Check out with a Tacoma Public Schools representative if needing to leave the event early for any reason. 

Tacoma School District

  • Tacoma Public Schools will provide transportation to Student Government Day from all Tacoma Public High Schools and provide transportation to and from the city facilities during the departmental tour session. 
  • Representative from the School District will ensure students receive their information packets, schedule, and monitor students' progress.

Dress Code

Please adhere to the City of Tacoma dress code which is business casual. If you are unsure if what you are going to wear is acceptable, ask an advisor prior to your arrival.


Acceptable Women's Attire

  • Dress
  • Suit
  • Skirt
  • Slacks/Khakis
  • Blouse
  • Sweater
  • Jacket
  • Comfortable dress shoes

Acceptable Men's Attire

  • Suit
  • Slacks/khakis
  • Sweater/sweater vest
  • Comfortable dress shoes
  • Collared polo or oxford shirt


Unacceptable Attire

Sweats, t-shirts, denim, leggings, shorts, sleeveless tops, inappropriate or revealing clothing, sneakers, flip-flops or casual sandals.


Acceptable Conduct during the Student Government Day Activities

  • Be courteous and respectful to all staff members with the Municipal Building.
  • Be punctual to scheduled activities and remain present until the activity is complete.
  • Maintain appropriate and professional behavior at all times.
  • Be sure to dispose of trash appropriately inside and outside of the buildings.
  • Report any problems or concerns immediately to an advisor or City staff member.

Selection Process

Up to 50 students will be nominated to attend, with additional alternates. In line with our Equity & Empowerment Framework, nominations will aim to have students representative of different genders, ethnicities, high schools, council districts, and life experiences. Answers to open-ended questions will be factored in and priority will be given to graduating seniors who had applied but not selected in prior years.

Supervision During the Day

Advisors are expected to attend all activities and meetings along with students during the event day. Students should not be in attendance at any portion of an event without adult supervision. All employees, advisors and staff members in contact with students must be adults 21 years of age or older and have completed background checks.

Date and Time

November 14, 2017

8:15 AM - 5:15 PM


Who Can Attend

Students Grades 9-12 who live in Tacoma or attend Tacoma Public Schools



David Nash-Mendez 
Senior Management Fellow 
City Manager’s Office

(253) 591-5116


Will Suarez

Management Fellow 
City Manager’s Office

(253) 591-5590


Amanda Scott-Thomas
Director of Community Partnership

Tacoma Public Schools

601 South 8th Street

PO Box 1357

Tacoma, WA 98401

(253) 571-1087