Undergraduates to attend political conventions

Two WUSTL students will gain an inside look at the U.S. political process in the coming weeks.

Senior Hana Greenberg, a political science and American culture studies major, and junior Scott Friedman, a political science and French major, all in Arts & Sciences, are participating in a Washington Center educational program focused on the election year. As part of the program, Greenberg is attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week, while Friedman will travel to Minneapolis Sept. 1-4 to attend the Republican National Convention.

Both will receive media credentials through Student Life to have access to exclusive events at the conventions.

The Washington Center is a nonprofit organization serving colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit.

The Gephardt Institute for Public Service selected Greenberg and Friedman for this program in spring 2008. Representatives from Student Union and the Congress of the South 40 worked with Robin Hattori, program director of the Gephardt Institute, to narrow down the large pool of interested students.

“We had an amazing response,” Hattori said. “It gave me great hope to see how many students feel personally invested in the democratic process. Greenberg and Friedman stood out among applicants for their enthusiasm, open-mindedness and ability to represent the University at a national level.”

Greenberg, who worked on campaigns for Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and interned for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), said she has wanted to go to a Democratic National Convention since she knew what it was.

Friedman, a John B. Ervin scholar and independent who has interned for Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), evaluates each candidate for their individual stances and how they would serve the country rather than their political affiliation.

The Gephardt Institute will work with both students to share their experiences with the campus community through presentations and programming leading up to the vice presidential debate.