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NIU spring breakers have political motivations

March 6, 2012

Exterior photograph of the Supreme Court of the United StatesForget white sands for the upcoming spring break. A group of NIU students is headed to the White House.

Sixteen political science students, accompanied by faculty members, will visit Washington, D.C., from Sunday, March 11,, through Wednesday, March 14. While there, students will tour the White House, the Capitol and the Supreme Court and meet with NIU alumni.

“Many of our students want to work in government,” said Artemus Ward, professor of political science. “This program allows them to not only get some hands-on experience in how the government really works, but also to network with our alumni who are already living and working in the D.C. area.”

The opportunity is offered as a class for one credit or no credit (POLS 497), and consequently there is some course work attached to it. Students are required to read a series of articles to familiarize themselves with the places they will visit and some of the people they will meet.

“I wanted to spend part of my spring break in Washington, D.C., because the city fascinates me,” said Sean Warden, junior political science major from Arlington Heights. “As a political science student, I think it is great to go to our nation’s capital and go behind the scenes to see how the government works.”

When the trip is over, students are expected to compose a journal of their thoughts and experiences.

“This trip fits right into our program’s emphasis on experiential learning opportunities,” Ward said. “In political science, we get out of the traditional classroom as much as possible.”

by Constance Ervins