Monday: We arrived later in the afternoon and immediately went to NBC’s studio to see the set of MSNBC’s Meet the Press. It was incredible to be on a newsroom set, as it wasn’t anything like I had imagined it would be. We talked to Mark Murry, MSNBC’s Senior Political Editor. As a political science major, it was really interesting to talk to someone so involved with political journalism and the 2016 Presidential Election news coverage. He definitely opened my eyes to the possibly going into political journalism.
Tuesday: Definitely the coldest day of the week, we spent most of early Tuesday morning standing in line to sit in on a Supreme Court hearing! This was one of my favorite parts of the trip, even if we only got to sit in on the hearing for less than 5 minutes. I saw one of my favorite Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in the flesh! Later that night, we explored a few monuments of DC, including the Lincoln Memorial. This was also one of my most favorite parts of the trip. Standing in the place where so many important social justice movements took place, including MLK’s “I Have A Dream” Speech, was breath taking. I actually cried.
Wednesday: We went to Senator Marco Rubio’s office on Capitol Hill, meeting with, sadly, not Marco himself, but with one of his staff members, Bethany Poulos. She discussed her position in Rubio’s office and what exactly the Senator himself is doing after suspending his Presidential campaign. We also discussed the refugee crisis and learned the Senator’s stance on a few other issues. After meeting with Bethany, we took a tour of the Capitol, which was amazing and a lot more tourist centered that I expected. We sat in the House of Representatives, but sadly not while they were in. It was still very cool to see where discussions and voting on certain laws has occurred!
Thursday: We visited the CATO Institute and, although I did not agree with everything that was said and was a little confused about the Institute’s positions on most issues, I did enjoy listening to a different point of view on the international crisis’ the world is going through and how the 2016 Presidential Election is affecting Libertarians. Newsflash- they also don’t like Donald Trump, so I like them a little bit more.
Friday: We visited the Pulitzer Center, where we discussed college students’ films that the Pulitzer Center sponsors and helps create. These films send a few students per year to different areas of the world, where the student will focus on different issues and different subjects, and create a film out of it! This, again, was one of the most interesting parts of my experience, as it definitely encouraged me to finally add an International Studies minor to my Political Science major. Although some of the conversation was cool, a majority of it was just the Flagler teachers and Pulitzer heads discussing how we could bring Pulitzer and its’ programs possibly to Flagler. None of us thought we should have been there for that. Next, we visited the Educational Advisory Board. Although this wasn’t necessary my cup of tea, I have some engineering background, so I really liked the aspects that the background brought when asking questions to the Board. I also believe it would be a good stepping stone for myself or another Flagler student in terms of a first job or possible internship.
Saturday: We were all on our own for Saturday, so Shelby and I got up early and went to the Air and Space Museum, which was actually amazing. We are both super into space, so it was really fun just walking around for a couple of hours before heading over to meet up with the rest of the group. We met the group at the Newseum, which is a museum for the history and current media, journalism, and news. This was one of the most interesting museums we visited, as they had news history of 9/11, Presidential dogs, and actual pieces of the Berlin Wall! Overall, it was an amazing trip.
I believe that this trip was one that Flagler College students should definitely go on in the future! The connections our trip leaders brought us made the trip a lot less touristy and more personal to our political science field. Even for Bailey, who is a criminology major, there was still a lot of aspects to the trip that was just good general knowledge of our government and Washington DC to have. Overall, I rate this trip a 10/10 and I would even consider going on it again next year.2016, Washington D.C.