Inside Washington

(L-R) Sarah Nichelson ‘11, Nick Swiatkowski ‘12, and Punya Krishnappa ‘11 are spending January Interim learning about politics and media in Washington, D.C.

January 14, 2011

Student Body President Nick Swiatkowski left for Washington, D.C., two weeks ago with some questions about politics, and he’ll leave the nation’s capital with even more. That’s how he knows participating in The Washington Center seminar, “Inside Washington,” is a valuable experience.

“You get answers, but they cause you to ask even more questions and challenge yourself to think about how to do things better, how to listen more carefully, and how to work with a variety of perspectives,” said Swiatkowski, a junior majoring in entrepreneurship.

Swiatkowski, along with seniors Punya Krishnappa and Sarah Nichelson, are spending two weeks in the nation’s capital getting acquainted with the new Congress and learning about how politicians use, and misuse, the media. The three will even appear on C-SPAN this Sunday, talking with the network’s CEO about student leadership. They also sat in on a taping of “Washington Journal,” C-SPAN’s daily political call-in program.

Each year, students participate in The Washington Center seminars to get an inside look at the federal government while earning course credit at Bradley. The experiential learning opportunity brings political science education to life. It’s also a chance for these active student leaders to see how a leadership position at Bradley might develop into a long-term commitment to public service.

The Bradley students met recently elected Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, scoped out the offices of Senator John McCain and former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and attended a State Department press briefing.

“I think the biggest takeaway is the realization that people coming from all parts of the nation are going to have very different perspectives, things I wouldn’t even consider, so the best way to get things done is to sit down and talk, listen, and be honest,” said Swiatkowski.

That’s a resolution apt to serve Bradley’s student body president well as the University begins a new semester with much to accomplish.