Day on the Hill brings politics to life
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007
If you think all the work of Congress happens on the House floor, you'd be sorely mistaken. Away from the bright lights of TV cameras and the probing questions of reporters, the Hawk 'n' Dove is a pub that attracts a diverse crowd of 'regulars' from all over Capitol Hill. Between its well-worn tables, Marines rub shoulders with activists and staffers while Republicans and Democrats negotiate compromise and chat about the foibles of their bosses - never by name of course - the opposition may be listening in.
The Hawk 'n' Dove made an appropriate setting for lunch during the 'Day on the Hill' event organized by the Career Services Office and the Political Science Department over the Holiday break. The networking opportunity brought together interested students, faculty, alums and Washington insiders for a day that probed the inner workings of Capitol Hill.
A diverse group of alumni and alumnae speakers from such high-profile organizations as NASA, the FBI, the State Department, Pew Research, and Van Scoyoc Associates met with students to give them a powerful impression of the breadth and depth of life in Washington.
"When's the last time you spent a day with three Congressmen? asked Iva Deutchman, professor of political science, referring to visits by Jim McGovern (D- Mass.), Rodney Frelinghuysen '69 (R - N.J.) and Michael Arcuri (D - N.Y.). "These programs are really good for students, helping them discover what they want and don't want to do with their lives."
At the Cannon House Office Building, the Hawk 'n' Dove, and everywhere in between, conversations sprouted, relationships were formed and students gained a new perspective on their future careers.
"I learned about careers that I had not previously considered - like working for the Pentagon or a grassroots campaign, said Jeremy Horan '07, who attended 'Day on the Hill.' "It was refreshing to talk to alums who have gone through the various stages of their careers and been successful. It actually has helped calm me down about finding a job and starting a career since so many alums have started in one place and ended up somewhere completely different. It was a great experience."
DeWayne Lucas, of the political science faculty, agreed. "It was a great opportunity to see D.C. at work and for students to understand how what we teach in the classroom applies to the real world."
Photo is of Congressman Michael Arcuri (D - N.Y.).