Over the past semester, GU Politics was fortunate to host senators, governors, business leaders, and change-makers on the Hilltop, providing one-of-a-kind access for the Georgetown community. Students engaged with thought leaders in bipartisan discussion about policy issues and news of the day. These critical conversations helped advance our mission of pulling back the curtain on how things happen behind the scenes in Washington and making politics work better.
We kicked off the semester in a big way with #ClimateForum2020 in September. Hosted by GU Politics, MSNBC, Our Daily Planet, and New York Magazine—and moderated by MSNBC’s Ali Velshi and Chris Hayes—the Climate Forum provided students the opportunity to ask 12 presidential candidates questions about their plans to address climate change. Over two days, these candidates engaged with the Georgetown community directly, discussing how their proposals could stand out in a historically crowded field. To top it all off, Chris Hayes welcomed Georgetown students for a live taping of “All In with Chris Hayes” in Dahlgren Quad, where they shared their reactions to the day’s events.
In October, we traveled to Ohio ahead of the Democratic debate at Otterbein University to release the second GU Politics Battleground Poll, followed the next week by the release of our latest Civility Poll. Multiple national media outlets picked up on the findings exploring the depth of the polarization that defines much of our politics today.
Also this semester, we kicked off our new “Democracy in the Digital Age” series with a speech by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for a conversation on free expression that garnered national attention, including a question and answer session with the Georgetown community. Grace Shevchenko, co-chair of the GU Politics Student Leadership Council, noted that by attending #ZuckerbergAtGU, students were able to “bypass the layers of red tape that normally separate students and their thoughts from those making globally impacting decisions.”
These flagship events made up just a small fraction of the programming that GU Politics offered this semester. From our Fall Fellows discussion groups, to debate watch parties, to National Voter Registration Day, we created space for students to tackle important political issues and find common ground. We invested in 50 student leaders under the umbrella of GU Politics, including those on the Student Leadership Council, Fly On The Wall, identiTEA, GU Votes, and more. Matthew Buckwald, co-chair of the Student Leadership Council, said his leadership experience with GU Politics has given him the chance “to open the doors even wider for more students to also find their home here” in Healy G-18.
We already have several exciting plans in 2020, including student trips to Iowa ahead of the February caucuses and both national party conventions in the summer; continuing our “Democracy in the Digital Age” series; an exciting new class of Fellows; a new installment of the Battleground and Civility polls, and much more.
And be sure to stay tuned for information for information on the GU Politics fifth anniversary celebration in the fall of 2020!
By bringing students and practitioners together, GU Politics is preparing the next generation of political leaders, and empowering them to make us better leaders ourselves. And we will continue to do so in 2020!
If you have suggestions related to our programming or questions about upcoming initiatives, do not hesitate to reach out. And, as always, stay up-to-date on all things GU Politics by following us on social media at Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram.