Each year, the RAI hosts Congress to Campus. This day-long event brings two former Members of Congress - one Democrat, one Republican - to the Institute to discuss American politics and government with local school and university students. It is organised with the US Association of Former Members of Congress and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.
Congress to Campus next takes place at the RAI on Thursday 7 March 2019. Schools who would like to register interest in attending should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The former Members of Congress offer local school and university students insights into how American democracy works through sharing their real-life experiences as candidates and office holders. For example, when former Congressmen Bob Carr (D-Michigan, 1975-81, 1983-95) and Cliff Stearns (R-Florida, 1989-2013) visited they discussed bipartisanship in the US House and Senate, the influence of partisan news media on US politics and the impact of ‘Super-PAC’ fundraising on American elections at local, state and Federal level, and answered questions on all these topics from the visiting students.
“I found everything about the political discussions helpful! Today has added to my intellectual curiosity about politics”, said one local school student. Another said that “my A-Level studies have been helped greatly by today and the understanding I have gained will help me follow the news more easily”.
If you are a student, or teacher at a local school, and would like to find out more about participating in Congress to Campus, please email email@example.com.
Former Members of Congress who have visited the RAI through Congress to Campus:
2017: Vic Fazio (D-California, 1979-99), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas, 2003-17)
2016: Larry LaRocco (D-Idaho, 1991-95) and Ken Kramer (R-Colorado, 1979-87)
2015: Dennis Hertel (D-Michigan, 1981-93) and Claudine Schneider (R-Rhode Island, 1981-91)
2014: Bob Clement (D-Tennessee, 1988-2003) and James Coyne (R-Pennsylvania, 1981-83)
2013: Bob Carr (D-Michigan, 1975-81, 1983-95) and Cliff Stearns (R-Florida, 1989-2013) (right)
2012: Rick Boucher (D-Virginia, 1983-2011) and Mike Oxley (R-Ohio, 1981-2007)
2011: Bart Gordon (D-Tennessee, 1985-2011) and Steven Kuykendall (R-California, 1999-2001)
2010: David Skaggs (D-Colorado, 1987-1999) and Nick Smith (R-Michigan, 1993-2005)
2009: Dan Miller (R-Florida, 1993-2003) and Carlos Romero-Barcelo (New Progressive Party, Puerto Rico, 1993-2001)
“Today has given me a wider knowledge of the topics I'm studying and I'm confident I will be able to talk about them in more depth in my exams."
A-level student, Banbury School, at Congress to Campus 2012.
“The bipartisan discussions have helped me develop a better understanding of both parties' ideologies and views."
A-level student, Bartholomew School, Eynsham, Oxfordshire, at Congress to Campus 2012.