22 April 2007

Roosevelt Institution at the University of Georgia

Today, I had the privilege to attend the Roosevelt Institution's second annual Roosevelt Policy Symposium. For those who don't know, the Roosevelt Institution is the only policy think-tank for students. Involved students come from all fields of study and are committed to not just being cynical of the world around them, but to actually trying to make a difference. They research and suggest policies for local, regional, national, and international change. Today, three members presented very intriguing proposals on Chinese involvement in Africa (a very enlightening presentation), production and use of cellulosic ethanol at UGA as a model for the rest of the nation, and an especially interesting proposal for modification to federal regulation on stem cell research.

The students presented their proposals to the audience and guest speaker Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) offered his critique of ideas put forth. He even took a few questions from the audience (including my question on US involvement with the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur). The senator also briefly mentioned Iraq and admitted to mistakes being made, though, in keeping with the administration's latest policy, sounded a lot like the Democrats in mentioning redeployment (on a tangent, I'm starting to notice that while the Democrats, for the most part, are calling for quick withdrawl, the Republicans, even the president's cabinet, are starting to mention the idea of pulling out).

All of this is to say that there is still hope. My generation is not entirely lost. Some students are working to make the world a better place. They take it past my own level of cynicism and use their anger about the way things are to work towards the way things should be. There are people out there who care about Sudan and the environment. Maybe students aren't so apathetic after all.

Rock on.