(Sept. 27, 2012) -- Every four years, Democrats and Republicans host national conventions to give Americans a glimpse of two possible futures for the United States. In an effort to improve the economy, education and other social issues, presidential candidates share blueprints aiming to strengthen the nation.
This year, UTSA students Rosalyn Huff, Morgan Barton and Hannah Beck were selected to attend the conventions, an opportunity offered through the Washington Center's Campaign 2012 internship program. The students indicated their interest to the UTSA Honors College by answering a questionnaire and drafting an essay.
With her eyes set on practicing law, Huff is a junior majoring in political science and minoring in African-American studies. Despite wanting to meet President Obama, she opted to attend the Aug. 27-30 Republican National Convention in Florida, believing that Republicans and Democrats can both learn from each other and together can develop the best plan of action for the nation.
"I have observed that most students don't realize as individuals that we can learn a lot from the other party," said Huff. "Out of respect to my country, I wanted to listen, and I wanted to be embedded into the other side. Politics is about making the proper decision collectively with both parties, to help this country. Overall, I just wanted to prove to everyone that Republicans and Democrats can come together without tensions and compromise."
Political science majors Barton, a senior, and Beck, a sophomore, opted to attend the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, something Barton describes as a 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a college student." The convention was Sept. 3-6.
Barton began her college career at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she volunteered at the White House. One day, she hopes to work for the United Nations or State Department in public health.
"I was so excited to attend such a historical event and learn what happens behind the scenes," said Barton. "That's something that you just can't teach in a classroom. So much planning went into this event. I was excited to see how the whole process really occurs."
While in Charlotte, Barton also had the unique opportunity to listen to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro deliver his keynote address.
Beck's interest in politics was sparked by a 10th grade debate class. She is now president of Young Democrats at UTSA, and she volunteered with U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett's campaign this year in Texas. She is pursuing minors in legal studies and business administration.
Beck attended the Democratic National Convention to discover new ways to engage disinterested students in politics. Via a career in law, she aspires to serve as a United States senator.
"At the convention, I was very interested in learning how to combat political apathy in students," said Beck. "I learned so much from the convention about what I needed to do to motivate students to become more involved in local and state politics, so that they can influence the policies and representatives that govern them."
The Washington Center's Campaign 2012 internship program places students in volunteer fieldwork positions with the party, convention committee, host committee, media and many other convention-related organizations and events. Prominent speakers address the participants each morning.
While at the conventions, the three students shared their experiences with their classmates via Skype and with the entire UTSA community via a convention blog.
The trip was funded by the UTSA Honors College and the Carlos and Malu Alvarez Special Opportunities Fund.
Ron Ellis conducts the student instrumental ensemble in a free concert that is open to the public.
Arts Building, Recital Hall (Arts 2.03.02), Main Campus
The UTSA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs is hosting a day full of outreach events and activities by the U.S. Navy as part of a larger Navy presence in San Antonio called Navy Week with various events in the community through Feb. 25.
Student Union Paseo and Convocation Center entrance, Main Campus
Join this interactive play that is a courtroom drama and the audience is the jury. Discussion and will follow.
Student Union, Retama Auditorium (SU 2.02.02), Main Campus
Langston Clark, UTSA assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition will discuss exploring the historical context for the role of black athletes in contemporary social movements.
John Peace Library, Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The UTSA African American Studies program invites speakers from the leading African American Fraternities and Sororities for a panel discussion of the history of each organization and to enlighten the audience about the community service, academic purpose, professionalism and ethical roots of each group.
Student Union, Mesquite Room (SU 2.01.24), Main Campus
MuTe Fest is a celebration of original music and technology. Three days of concerts, sessions, and informative lectures will offer a unique experience of musical works created by fellow UTSA students and the chance to gain valuable knowledge about music technology.
Art Building, Music Tech Lab (Arts 3.01.30B), Main Campus
UTSA Libraries hosts Assistant Professor Ian Caine for his lecture, Architectural Postcards from Space, as part of the popular Pizza + Research series. Pizza will be served while supplies last.
Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 2.304), Downtown Campus
The theme of this year’s symposium is Black & Brown Futures. The free event will give UTSA students and the community the opportunity to meet and hear national scholars talk about current research and academic trends relevant to the lives of African Americans in the United States.
Student Union, Denman Room (SU 2.01.28), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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