Year 12 Students attend US Congress to Campus Conference On 29th February (a date that only comes around every 1460 days) the History Department had a unique opportunity to take 9 Year 12 students to Reading University to take part in the US Embassy’s Congress to Campus Conference. It was a chance to meet members of Congress and leading British academics specialising in US history and politics.
The Conference brought a fascinating insight into the workings of what is arguably the most important power-house in the world, offering opinions on contemporary issues and crises; Donald Trump, US debt and gun control came up more than once. Congressman Larry LaRocco (Democrat) and Ken Kramer (Republican) occasionally took time out from sledging one another to answer a few student questions before returning to the issue of whose party is best. We heard first-hand accounts of Clinton’s famous White House parties, conversations with ‘W’ (George W Bush) and Ronald Regan and why the world should be grateful for US defence spending as shouldering the ‘burden’ for global peace. Lectures included an insight into ‘The US Presidency in the 21st Century’, comparing the ‘imperial presidency’ of Bush to the ‘professor-in-chief’ style of Obama. Perhaps student feedback serves as a wider comment on current politics in the UK and across the pond; ‘We would have liked more time to ask questions instead of just listening to what they had to say’.