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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Former secretary of state to visit campus

Getting one step closer to fulfilling its mission to bring the world to A&M’s door, the MSC Wiley Lecture Series will be hosting Former U.S. National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on April 1 to discuss the effect of hyper partisanship on American politics and foreign policy.
Rice’s lecture, “The Impacts of Modern American Politics,” will include discussions on revolutions around the globe, the value of the American dollar, America’s deficit and debt obligation and treaties with other countries.
Following Rice’s prepared remarks will be a question-and-answer period moderated by Rice University professor Joseph Brinkley. Taylor Arnold, chair of the Wiley Lecture Series and junior mathematics major, said Rice will address how modern politics has impacted U.S. international policies.
“Dr. Rice’s extensive career in politics over the last few decades makes her one of the premier experts on the topic,” Arnold said. “I think the relevancy of the program comes from the fact that the impacts that partisanship are having on the United States as a whole, especially if we look internationally, are greater than the general public is currently talking about because there are effects that are underlying and may impact us in years moving forward that don’t often make the headlines when news agencies report the day-to-day effects and all of those activities. So, hopefully through this program, we present some of those long term potential effects.”
Reid Geissen, Wiley Lecture Series’ main program director and junior philosophy major, said the increasing polarization of the U.S. Congress has had a huge impact on the progress of the country and that Rice’s experience in government lends her a unique perspective into current political affairs, especially in the international arena.
“In the U.S. lately, there is a growing sense that our government is struggling to address its biggest concerns,” said Geissen. “Everyone is interested in the success of our country in terms of the economy, and our standing in the world. We think it’s important to look at how recent trends in Washington are affecting those interests and others. Dr. Rice will bring remarkable insight to this discussion given her unparalleled international experience and extensive knowledge of domestic issues as well.”
Under former President George W. Bush, Rice first served as the National Security Advisor and later became the 66th U.S. secretary of state. Before entering the Bush administration, Rice was a professor of political science at Stanford University, a post she has since resumed. Her experience as both an academic and a government official is something Geissen said allows her to speak to the state of government.
The Wiley Lecture Series, Geissen said, aims to bring the world to Texas A&M and that Rice’s expertise in international issues, serve that purpose.
“Condoleezza Rice is someone who the vast majority of our student body hasn’t had the opportunity to hear speak in person,” Geissen said. “She’s one of the premier and most well-known diplomats of our time. For that reason, we are fulfilling our goals by having one of the most recognizable faces in diplomacy come to campus. Further, given her firsthand expertise in that area and others, as well as the research she has done at Stanford, she brings an incredibly wide array of knowledge on a variety of topics that will advance our mission of bringing an engaging and educated discussion of world affairs to the A&M community.”
Freshman sociology major Chandra Kovvali said she believes the U.S. government has ceased functioning as an effective conduit of the opinion of the American public, and was interested in attending the lecture to discover why.
“Americans today are more divided about politics,” Kovvali said. “While our politicians are elected to serve in the best interest of the citizens, the term ‘best interest’ had become relative to each politician.”
Ultimately, Geissen said he hopes people gain a deeper understanding of how the U.S. government functions in today’s political landscape, as well as a more informed perspective on current issues.
“My hope is that people will leave not only understanding our state of affairs politically, but also with a broader and more informed perspective on all the other issues in the news today,” Geissen said.
Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m. in Rudder Auditorium, are available through the MSC Box Office.

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