Students gained new insight from a pair of former congressmen who visited Suffolk University for a bipartisan discussion of important issues and to share their personal political views and experiences.
Jim Moran, a Democrat who represented Virginia’s 8th Congressional District in the House, and Republican Jim Coyne, who served Pennsylvania 8th District and once was a special assistant to Ronald Reagan, spent time with Suffolk government students through the Congress to Campus program.
Congress to Campus links former members of Congress with students with the goal of providing inspiration that will lead to greater democratic participation, whether it is in the public service arena or in something as simple as voting.
Public transportation & infrastructure
Coyne and Moran discussed many issues, with a particular focus on public transportation and infrastructure.
“The forum on transit was intended to give students a sense of how much these elected officials know about the things that impact their constituents and to provide them with a sense of the complexity involved in making public policy,” said Ken Cosgrove, associate professor of government at Suffolk. “A key issue area, like transit, affects every single person in the country."
Moran and Coyne also addressed issues ranging from the importance of voting to the impact of the media in today’s political world.
How the system works
“I have always been intrigued by government and how the system works, so this event was a good experience,” said sophomore Fedjina Charles. “I learned that people have to educate themselves about what’s going on around them in government and not listen to particular media outlets that cater to their beliefs.”
Said senior Patrick George: “It was interesting and inspiring to hear the different views from both congressmen and about all the changes that have occurred from when they first started to today.”
"Every vote counts"
“The message I came away with was that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to voting and decision-making,” said junior Victoria Ireton. “Students think voting is not important at their age, but, after listening to the two Congressmen, you understand that every vote counts.”
"The Congress to Campus program is an outstanding way to bring our students in touch with people who've devoted serious amounts of time to serving our country in the legislative branch,” said Cosgrove. “Students get to see the outstanding quality of people who have devoted their lives to public service.”
The event was hosted by the University’s Government Department and the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress.