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Apr 25, 2013 | Atlanta, GA
On April 17th, students took a break from their busy schedules to try on a new hat: member of Congress with an assignment to reduce the national debt, and do it in two hours.
The cross-campus federal budget balancing event was organized by Aaron Hoodin, an International Affairs and Modern Languages major and a member of the Ivan Allen College Student Advisory Board, and was co-sponsored by the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan fiscal policy group co-chaired by Sam Nunn, distinguished professor in The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.
Students were randomly divided and given a brief rundown on the process and the current debt situation. Then they went to work on the problem that has stymied Congress for years. Most groups were able to reduce the debt by about a billion.
Rose Anthony, an International Affairs major and a 2012-2013 IAC Dean's Scholar, shared her thoughts on the trials of balancing the federal budget.
"From talking to people after the event, it was clearly a success. Most told me that they usually don’t have much fun learning about current events, but being able to discuss it with other people helped tremendously. One student said, 'It was fun and engaging. I surprisingly learned a lot in two hours.'”
"I had the pleasure of attending this event previously, and I can say that each time is a new experience. Comparing my old booklet to the new one, I was able to see that many of my decisions had changed dramatically. Seeing this put things in perspective because not only do our representatives have to deal with their own shifting ideals, but also those of society."