Presidential election years are always exciting at GW! Check out how the university and alumni are getting involved.
Alumni at the National Conventions
In late summer, thousands of delegates, politicos and reporters poured into Tampa and Charlotte for the national conventions. At each convention, several GW alumni gathered at receptions hosted by the Office of Alumni Relations.
Mark Kennedy, former congressman and director of GW’s Graduate School of Political Management, hosted the event at the Republican convention in Tampa, FL. Pennsylvania democratic delegate Omar Woodard, BA ’05, MPA ’07 and former GW recent alumni trustee, hosted the reception at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, NC.
“Conventions represent not only a time to shape policy but also a time to unite with those who share common affinities,” Kennedy said. “It is important for GW and its alumni to be actively engaged at the conventions where party policies that will shape the future of the country are debated and espoused.”
Known for being one of the most politically active universities in the country, Woodard was unsurprised by the number of GW alumni at the conventions.
“Many GW alumni are actively participating as delegates, press, elected officials and campaign staff. In the first three days, I ran into no less than 30 fellow GW alumni,” said Mr. Woodard.
“If you find a congregation of people talking about ways to improve our nation, odds are George Washington alumni are leading the conversation. GW has an incredible story to tell about the important role it plays in educating the future of America’s political leadership,” he added.
This is the second time that GW has hosted alumni-specific events at the national conventions. The receptions provide an opportunity for colonials to connect and remain engaged in politics and policy.
Politics at Alumni Weekend
On Sept. 30, as part of GW’s Alumni Weekend, the university hosted its annual Sunday Political Brunch. This year’s theme, Romney v. Obama: Battle for the Presidency, featured a bi-partisan discussion on the upcoming presidential election.
The event was co-sponsored by the Politico – GW Battleground Poll, a nationally recognized, bipartisan political opinion survey focused on election politics in the U.S., and GW’s Luther Rice Society. The brunch was moderated by GW’s Mark Kennedy, and featured leading Democratic and Republican political strategists Celinda Lake and Brian Nienaber, GSPM MA ’99.
Ms. Lake and Mr. Nienaber answered questions from Mr. Kennedy and alumni in the audience. Both panelists agreed that a number of factors, including international incidents and the first presidential debate could still determine the course of the race.
For more information on this event, visit GW Today.
Face the Facts USA
Sixty-five facts into its 100-day run, the “myth-busting” Face the Facts USA campaign continues to draw audiences from GW and beyond. The group promises “one new straight-up fact every day until the election,” to promote awareness and clarity in the world of media overdrive. According to its website, the group’s mission is to “fight spin, noise and cynicism.”
Run by GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs, the nonpartisan, multiplatform content hub and civic engagement initiative aims to help voters become more informed on today’s most important topics using pop culture-themed digital videos, lively infographics and extensive social media. The campaign is largely coordinated by a student team of researchers, video producers and editors
Spearheaded by GW Professor Frank Sesno, Philanthropist Ed Scott and Bipartisan Advisory Board, the project’s main objectives are to:
- Present facts and data in creative ways that crystallize key issues facing America and debunk misconceptions
- Offer “details on demand” so users can connect directly with as much source data and as many points of view as they wish
- Engage and connect people and communities; present ways to help people get involved and push for solutions that move America forward
The range of topics is diverse and includes the US national debt, jobs and the economy, education and health care. Fact-seeks can follow along on Twitter or Facebook, among other social media outlets.
Have you debunked any myths lately? As Election Day approaches, the countdown continues—visit Face the Facts to join in.