Up to Us Georgetown Debates Debt Crisis
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 11:12
David Edgar (SFS ’15), Agree Ahmed (SFS ‘15) and Warren Wilson (SFS ’15) entered Georgetown in Up to Us, a year-long national competition among universities to raise awareness about the national debt crisis.
The contest is sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative University, a college-focused branch of the organization started by former President Bill Clinton (SFS ’68) that gives global leaders a forum to discuss challenges around the world; the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that aims to raise economic awareness in the United States; and Net Impact, a nonprofit organization that promotes socially responsible business practices.
At the CGI U meeting held at Washington University in St. Louis in April 2013, 12 universities will be evaluated based on how well their Up to Us chapters raised awareness about the debt crisis on their respective campuses.
Each group has made a page on Facebook that will be used to measure their impact on campus. The Georgetown Up to Us page currently has 188 members and is in third place behind New York University and the University of Michigan.
The winner will receive a $10,000 prize and will be chosen based on the percentage of the student body that has supported the page, survey responses the groups have received, personal connections the groups have made with their university communities, adherence to CGI U rules, creativity, visibility, learning and the overall success of the campaign.
The Georgetown group has high hopes for their success on campus and at CGI U in the spring.
“I think we at Georgetown are unique in that we’re really organization based as a school,” said Oltan Akin (MSB ’15), who joined the Up to Us group soon after the original founders. “The student body is a lot more tight-knit than at other schools. I think students here are very actively involved.”
The groups are only allowed to officially advocate for their cause from Jan. 21 to March 1, according to rules set by the national program. Next semester, the Georgetown group plans to sponsor speaking events, case and essay competitions and social gatherings. Edgar said that he hopes to have a Georgetown professor debate an outside speaker and that the group has spoken with the government department, economics department and the McDonough School of Business about this possibility.
The contest and groups are all nonpartisan, and Akin said that Up to Us Georgetown is planning to reach out to members of both the Georgetown University College Democrats and the College Republicans.
Akin also pointed to Georgetown’s location as an advantage in the competition.
“We have access to really important people in D.C. Other schools don’t have access to that resource, so we should definitely try to take advantage of that,” he said.
Wilson said that the debt crisis has continued relevance to college students.
“I think it mattered, and it matters more than we give it credit for,” he said.
He also joked about another advantage Georgetown may have at CGI U in April.
“If we can’t win with our alumnus running it, we’ve got problems,” he said.