March 11, 2013
New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library
The New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library's Kevin Harrington Student Ambassadors Amanda Sharon '15, and Grace Keating '14, attended Beyond Voting: Non-electoral Political Engagement at the 2013 National Campaign Conference at the Harvard Kennedy School this past weekend.
Students from the National Consortium at Harvard, which includes colleges and universities from across the country, heard from speakers and discussed the importance of political engagement, particularly among the millennial generation that they are a part of.
"We had a great deal of inspiring and educated speakers working with us, covering issues like participatory budgeting, racism and free speech." said Sharon, an International Relations major.
"We learned that although America seems very blue and red, it really is purple--people tend to be on all parts of the spectrum, the extremes are just portrayed more in the media," she continued.
Students discussed concepts and projects they are working on to deal with the increasing lack of engagement on their campuses, and to discuss how to create a stronger culture of citizen engagement.
"I made connections and friends with students who are involved in other institutes just like the NHIOP," said Keating, a Politics major, "most of which I didn't even know existed."
"It was great to talk with other students from all over the country to see what they have been working on at their Institutes of Politics and what issues they face. We hope to stay in touch and work together to improve civic engagement across the country," Sharon adds.
Keating said, "We were able to share ideas, issues, and stories about our institutes, as well as interesting conversations about different college culture among those present. I came away from it with a new enthusiasm for the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and lots of new ideas to try."