Monday, Jun 18, 2018
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Buckeye Boys State, BGSU in contract talks

Partnership for annual program expires this year

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Jack Forster, right, and members of the Buckeye Boys State salute the flag during the evening program at the Stroh Center at Bowling Green State University.

THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
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BOWLING GREEN — Buckeye Boys State kicked off at Bowling Green State University on Sunday as negotiations continue between BGSU and the American Legion about whether the week-long civics program will return to Bowling Green next year.

BGSU has been home to Boys State for 38 years. The current five-year contract between the American Legion, which sponsors the event, and the university will expire this year.

Dave Kielmeyer, university spokesman, said the two entities are “in the process of negotiating a new contract.”

“It’s an important partnership for us,” Mr. Kielmeyer said. “It’s a partnership we value. We’re going to do everything we can to keep them here at BGSU.”

Mr. Kielmeyer said the university charges Boys State only to cover the university’s expenses for staffing, maintenance, meals, and use of residence halls and other on-campus buildings. The exact cost is determined in part by how many students and staff participate, according to contract language. Last year, for 1,194 delegates, BGSU billed the American Legion $314,786 for Boys State.

Miami University also submitted a proposal to host Boys State, said Claire Wagner, a university spokesman.

Gerald White, director of Buckeye Boys State, described negotiations with BGSU as “steady and ongoing.” The program’s negotiation team is expected to make a recommendation to the Buckeye Boys State Board of Trustees on Thursday.

“We anticipate the partnership will continue, but again there's been no decision made on that, but will be within the next four to five days,” Mr. White said.

Boys State brings 1,200 high school seniors from across the state to the university. The university’s incoming freshman class includes 68 men who went through Boys State in 2015, Mr. Kielmeyer said.

“The young men who attend Buckeye Boys State … are very bright young men; they’re certainly the type of student that we want to recruit at BGSU,” Mr. Kielmeyer said. “It’s a great opportunity to have these students here for a week so they can get a feel for our campus and get a taste of BGSU.”

Buckeye Girls State, which also began Sunday, is hosted at the University of Mount Union in Alliance.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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