(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.
State Rep. Diego Bernal presents a Q&A panel discussion with MALDEF, RAICES and DMCA Immigration Law Firm about DACA and the current state of affairs for Dreamers. Opening remarks by Congressman Joaquin Castro and Congressman Lloyd Doggett.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Auditorium (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
Come out and enjoy breakfast and beverages at the Official UTSA Tailgate in Albuquerque as our Roadrunners take on the New Mexico Lobos at the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. The official UTSA tailgate will be located in Fan Fest in the University Stadium Parking Lot, Stadium East.
University Stadium parking lot, Albuquerque, NM
Graduates from the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, College of Business, College of Education and Human Development and the College of Public Policy will participate in the first commencement ceremony. President Romo will deliver the keynote address.
Graduates from the College of Engineering, College of Liberal and Fine Arts, College of Sciences and University College will participate in the second commencement ceremony. President Romo will deliver the keynote address.
All UTSA students, faculty and staff are invited to march with UTSA in the 30th annual MLK March. There will be a FREE shuttle from the UTSA Main Campus. Pick up in front of the Convocation Center at 8:30 a.m. Depart from UTSA at 9 a.m. Buses return to UTSA at 1 p.m
Convocation Center, Main Campus
UTSA's Department of Music hosts Dr. David Huron from Ohio State University as part of the Donald Hodges lecture series. Huron is a Canadian arts and humanities distinguished professor at Ohio State University.
John Peace Library, UTSA Faculty Center, (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion annually hosts a Volunteer Opportunities Fair to allow students, faculty and staff to learn about volunteer and service-learning opportunities in the San Antonio area.
University Center, 1st floor corridor, Main Campus
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