(Centennial Fellow) CCU’s second annual Washington Week took 13 students and three faculty to Washington, DC, from May 23rd to 29th. It was an intensive “immersion” experience into the workings of our government, public policy think tanks, and current issues facing our nation.
The group spent several hours each day hearing directly from some our nation’s most important experts in policy areas spanning domestic concerns (budgeting, healthcare, the environment) as well as global issues (missile defense, terrorism, genocide). Students from diverse backgrounds and interests all gained remarkable insight into current issues facing our nation. They represented majors ranging from History, Communications, and Business to Music and Youth Ministry.
Ten highlights of this year’s trip included…
1. American Enterprise Institute: Students were briefed by by AEI’s president, Arthur Brooks, as well as Henry Olsen, Charles Murray, Steve Hayward and Kevin Hasset.
2. The Heritage Foundation: Joseph Postell spoke on the American Founding and Tim Goeglein (who lobbies on behalf of Focus on the Family) discussed current culture issues and the role Christians need to play in shaping our society.
3. Foundation for Defense of Democracies: Students learned about the current threat of radical Islamic global terror and the proper U.S. response.
4. Fox News Studio: Students were given a tour led by Mary Katherine Ham, writer for the Weekly Standard and frequent contributor to Fox News.
5. Free Congress Foundation: Honorable Jim Gilmore, former Governor of Virginia, discussed the current economic and budget crisis, as well as the current political landscape.
6. Institute of World Politics: Students listened to lectures by three members from the graduate faculty on the theoretical underpinnings of international relations, the problem of genocide, and the current state of foreign affairs.
7. Center for Competitive Politics: Sean Parnell discussed current campaign finance laws and the work of the Center to challenge finance laws that impinge on 1st Amendment protections.
8. American Council of Trustees and Alumni: Michael Poliakoff spoke on the work ACTA does to promote better quality of higher education and improved general education standards. He also illustrated cases of schools that infringe on students’ rights.
9. Greek Embassy: Students listened to a policy briefing by Mr. Panayotis Stournaras, First Counselor for Political Affairs, and Mrs. Ioanna Annita Mavromichalis, Minister-Counselor for Economic and Commercial Affairs. Both discussed the current economic crisis in Greece, as well as steps being taken to improve the Greek economy through increased trade and foreign investment.
10.United States Capitol: Students were given a tour of the Capitol led by the Honorable Hank Brown, who took students onto the Senate floor and into several areas restricted to general public. Senator Brown shared considerable knowledge of the workings of Congress,as well as Capitol history, architecture and art. The students also enjoyed breakfast in the Senate dining room and lunch in the House dining room.