At GW, politics is not a spectator sport.
The political process favors those who get involved. And when it comes to getting involved in politics, there's no better place to be than Foggy Bottom, where the White House, the National Mall, and the offices of the biggest power brokers in the country are only blocks away.
And there's no student body more involved than GW's, consistently recognized as one of the most politically active in the country. Students like Alex Yudelson, a delegate at this year's Democratic National Convention, and Max Chen, whose documentaries on sustainability have been recognized by the White House and PBS, know how to make their voices heard, and they know what to say when the world is listening. And Max and Alex are not alone here.
The bipartisan political activity at GW reaches its zenith on election night, especially during presidential cycles. This year, as voting results rolled in from around the country, GW students huddled en masse at watch parties hosted by the College Republicans and College Democrats, while Colonials around the globe participated in the conversation via social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter. When the decision was announced, you could practically feel the Marvin Center shake as students, who had just voted for the first time, reacted to the results and rushed the four blocks to the White House to be a part of history.
But the world of politics is present every day at GW and our students know that politics isn’t a game. The implications of a change in policy can profoundly affect millions of people, which is why GW's policymakers of tomorrow are learning from some of the brightest political minds of today, including the likes of former elected officials and White House staffers, politicians, journalists and other experts and insiders, and participating in discourse-shaping research, like the Politico-George Washington University Battleground Poll or the Face the Facts campaign. Through the School of Media and Public Affairs, the Graduate School of Political Management, Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, Elliott School of International Affairs and the Columbian College of Arts & Science’s Political Science departments, GW offers a bevy of courses and programs to challenge our most politically-minded students.
The politicians of today are hearing our voices too, and we get to hear theirs right on campus. GW regularly hosts speakers like Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Hillary Clinton, and Marco Rubio, not to mention other influencers like Ben Bernanke, Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly, and Arianna Huffington. And our commencement speakers—Brian Williams, Michael Bloomberg and Michelle Obama, to name just the past three—are among the inspirational leaders offering insights and advice you can find #OnlyatGW.
It's good to get used to rubbing elbows with the bigwigs now, since those same GW students you saw on the White House lawn on election night could be the policymakers of tomorrow. In this election alone, nine alumni--including Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Eric Cantor (R-Va.)--were elected or re-elected to Congress. And other Colonial grads were pulling the strings behind the scenes--Mitt Romney's campaign manager and Barack Obama's campaign speechwriting director are both GW alumni. Our people aren’t just behind the scenes either. You can see GW alumnus and NBC chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd on the news every night.
No matter where--or who--you want to be in the world of politics, GW can get you there.