We had an amazing semester filled with JFK Jr. Forum events, community service, study groups, discussions and of course, being inspired by the biggest names in politics and public service. As the semester comes to a close and students disappear from our hallways to study for finals and take off to their summer internships, we want to take the opportunity to reflect back on the semester.
2013: A Call to Serve
We started off the semester by wishing our IOP community a happy New Year with a message from our Fall 2012 guests encouraging young people to get involved in politics and public service.
our spring 2013 resident fellows joined us on campus
An amazing group of political practitioners spent the semester on campus leading study groups, collaborating with students and discussing the future of the country and the world. Study groups this semester covered topics ranging from the rising power of China to the future of the Republican Party to Social Policy Entreprenuership with former North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue.
public interested conference
Alumni and students came to the Harvard campus to take part in the Public Interested Conference. Attendees participated in a full day of keynote speeches, workshops and TED-style talks. The conference was aimed at helping attendees explore whether a public interest career was for them and help them pursue and obtain these positions. Read former IOP student President Jeff Solnet's reflection from the day.
JFK Jr. Forum: The Future of the GOP
We kicked off the Spring semester in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum with some interesting events. One included a panel discussion on the future of the Republican Party. The panel discussed the mistakes made in the 2012 election and what changes the party needs to make to move forward and reconnect with young voters. Watch a "3 with IOP" video interview with a few of the panelists.
JFK Jr. Forum: NRA President David Keene
President of the NRA David Keene joined us in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum and was interviewed by Visiting Fellow and CNN Reporter John King. Keene answered unfiltered questions from the audience following the interview, including one from former Vice President of the IOP (and future teacher) Julia Konrad. Check out what one Institute of Politics student had to say about the event.
Students respond to the State of the Union
We asked two Institute of Politics students, one Republican and one Democrat, to pay close attention to the President's State of the Union Address and write their reactions. This was one of our most popular "Millennial-Must Reads," a series in which our students and members of the millennial generation give their opinions on the big issues.
JFK Jr. Forum: President Macky Sall
President of Senegal Macky Sall addressed an audience in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum and kicked-off the Kennedy School's Black Policy Conference. In his address, the President outlined three main strategies for moving the country forward: (1) building better political governance, (2) greater social justice and (3) creating durable wealth and prosperity in the country.
National CAMPAIGN Conference
The National Campaign Consortium held its annual conference. Student representatives from 23 universities from across the country come together to discuss campus political engagement. The National Campaign Consortium is made up of colleges that have institutions similar to the IOP, and we have been bringing students together from these universities for over a decade. This year's conference theme was "Beyond Voting: Non-electoral Political Engagement." Read two student reflections from the weekend.
Alternative Spring Break
The Institute of Politics organized an Alternative Spring Break for students who wanted to spend their break giving back. Students went to New Jersey to volunteer with Helping Hands of New Jersey and rebuild homes devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Read a student reflection from the experience and check out photos of the trip on Facebook.
Visiting Fellow Jon Huntsman & China Rising
This year, the IOP was fortunate to have three Visiting Fellows, including former Ambassador to China and former Governor of Utah Jon Hunstman. Governor Huntsman participated in a week of IOP programming, leading a study group and meeting with students. While here, the Governor participated in a discussion in the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum on the rise of China. Check out highlights from the event on the IOP blog: "Lessons from the Forum: Three ways to improve U.S.-China relations."
This year the Institute of Politics' Citizenship Tutoring Program, in which IOP students tutor Harvard employees for their citizenship exam, celebrated 25 new American citizens. Students work with Harvard employees on US history, structure of the American government and current events. The event brings together all employees who gained U.S. citizenship over the last year for an inspiring celebration. Read a reflection from program chair Anna Menzel.
Student Leadership welcomes class of 2017
Student Executive Leadership for the IOP created a special video this year to congratulate the accepted students of the class of 2017 and encourage involvement with the Institute of Politics. "Visitas" was cancelled this year due to the bombings at the Boston Marathon, so student leaders created a dynamic website highlighting IOP programming and participated in a virtual discussion with potential students on Twitter.
23rd Poll on Millennial Political Views
Twice a year, the Institute of Politics conducts an in-depth survey of Millennial political views. Results for our Spring 2013 Poll showed a deepening partisanship among Millennial voters and an increasing frustration with Washington and Congress. It is vital that places like Harvard's Institute of Politics continue to engage Millennials in the political process and encourage them to take action.
We are sad to be graduating so many amazing Institute of Politics seniors this year, but we are so excited to see the impact they will have in the world of politics and public service. We asked a few of these incredible students to answer a Q&A for us to reflect on their IOP experiences and talk about their post-graduation plans.