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

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

The Battalion

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MSC Wiley to host panel to discuss US-Mexico relations

Photo by Provided

MSC Wiley hosted former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, former student and Congressman Will Hurd (pictured above) and former director of the National Economics Council Laura Tyson.

A&M students interested in the current political happenings involving American foreign policy have the opportunity this Friday to hear from distinguished experts on the subject.
The lecture, followed by a question and answer portion, is titled “America First? The Future of US-Mexico Relations” and is put on by the MSC Wiley Lecture Series. Three distinguished experts of varied backgrounds will speak in an expertpanel discussion, moderated by Steve Inskeep, host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.
Panelists will include former Mexican president Felipe Calderón, former director of the National Economics Council Laura Tyson and Congressman Will Hurd, who has more than 800 miles of the United States-Mexico border in his district.
The discussion will focus on the ramifications of the increase in nationalism in the United States, according to Rebecca Matlock, chair for the MSC Wiley Lecture Series and international studies senior.
“The topic we will discuss is the nationalist rhetoric in the United States, and how this rhetoric affects our relationship with Mexico,” Matlock said. “Looking at that through an economic lens, as well as social. We thought these three individuals would be great to speak on this discussion of United States-Mexico relations.”
Joshua Ratta, vice chair of the Wiley Lecture Series and history senior, said as the  student-run organization in charge of the lecture series, a lot of work goes into planning events like this one.
“First we have to start figuring out what the program’s going to be,” Ratta said. “We also have to get development funds … through grants and donations from former students. Then we have other members who are working on … getting the speakers to campus, how they’re going to go about their time. Then we have other members who try to market the event.”
Ratta went on to explain the structure of the Wiley lecture series.
“What Wiley does is each year, we put on a total of seven events,” Ratta said. “We have six small ones, which are known as our Symposium Series. These aim for audience size of about 100 to 150 audience members, focusing on current issues that can be discussed by A&M faculty or professors from other campuses. And then in the spring we have our showcase event, what we call our main program. And this is where we bring in as big of a name, as big of a topic as we can put together and have a substantial discussion.”
The panel is a good opportunity to have an expert discussion on foreign policy, said Breanna McKnight, main programming director for the Wiley Lecture Series and philosophy senior.
“It’s definitely a timely topic,” McKnight said. “There’s been a lot of nationalist rhetoric that we have heard throughout the media and different campaigns. It’s something that’s becoming a lot more prevalent, not only in our society, but across the globe, and it’s going to be something that will affect and impact our relationships with other countries. And so we’re specifically looking at how this type of rhetoric will impact the United States and Mexico.”
“America First” will take place at 7 p.m. Friday in Rudder Theatre. Tickets are $15 for students, or $20 otherwise. A link to buy tickets and/or submit questions can be found at

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