JACKSON, Tenn. – Jan. 20, 2005 – Two Union University students will be in attendance today at President Bush’s inauguration in Washington D.C.
Junior Natalie Treece and sophomore Katie Young have been in the nation’s capital for two weeks of study with the Washington Center’s Inside Washington program. For the 300 students from across the country who participated, today’s inauguration will be the culmination of the program.
“I’m very excited,” Treece said about attending the inauguration. “I worked 30-plus hours on the Bush-Cheney campaign in Jackson. It’s going to be freezing, but it will be worth being there experiencing all the festivities.”
Young had similar sentiments.
“The city’s buzzing,” she said. “It’s going to be a good time, just to see President Bush, who I voted for, being sworn in the second time.”
The two students attended the program on the advice of political science professor Sean Evans. The first week participants studied politics and the media, while the second week of study focused on the presidential inauguration and the next four years of the Bush administration.
Treece, from Paducah, Ky., is a history major. Young, from Monroe, Mich., is majoring in political science.
The students heard from guest speakers such as Ted Koppel of ABC News, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, David Broder of The Washington Post and others.
They also had the opportunity to tour the city and visit landmarks and museums. For Young, her group’s visit to the embassies of Greece and Saudi Arabia was especially meaningful.
“We got to see how international politics work and how the media relates to that also,” Young said. “It struck me as something I might want to do with my political science degree.”
Treece said the two-week seminar provided her with an opportunity to interact with more people of differing political philosophies, such as two of her roommates. She said debating political issues with them has helped her think more critically about her own opinions.
“That’s been very beneficial for me,” Treece said. “It’s been interesting just talking to them and having to hold my tongue at times.”
In addition, the World War II memorial had a strong impact on Treece. “Just thinking of the sacrifices that have been made for our country, for preserving our freedoms and our rights and liberties – I almost got teary-eyed,” she said.