UT's chapter of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature will join chapters from around the state in Nashville during the organization's annual General Assembly from Nov. 14-17.

As a mock legislature group mimicking the Tennessee state legislature, TISL discusses and proposes bills which address issues of state concern.

Approximately 40 universities participate, each representing a district. Each participating university is allowed one senator, while the number of congressional seats varies depending on an institution's size.

UT is granted nine seats.

The General Assembly is comprised of two events, a mock legislature session, where bills will be proposed, and an Appellate Moot Court Collegiate Challenge, during which participants argue the constitutionality of a particular issue.

The theme for this year's competition is "reverse discrimination."

"I'm excited about my bill," Jessica Karsten, sophomore in public relations, said. "I am requiring driver's education in the state of Tennessee for those under the age of 18."

Karsten's bill is among nine formed and written by UT legislators that will be brought to the General Assembly.

Events of the General Assembly will take place in the chambers of the Tennessee Legislature.

"I am looking forward to just being able to experience the capitol building and the chambers, to reenact what other legislatures do," said Chris Schwartz, a senior in economics.

Arriving in 1966 to UT, the founders of TISL worked with students at Vanderbilt University and together spread the idea to colleges throughout the state. Jennifer Liebschwager, president of UT's TISL chapter, said the organization's first leaders sought to teach students to make their own change.

"They (founders) just decided to give students across the state the opportunity to let their voice be heard," Liebschwager said, "and also learn a little bit about how the state legislature works."