Up To Us is a student-led campaign to engage the University of Virginia and Charlottesville community about our nation’s rising national debt and its effects on our generation now and in the future.
Led by five fourth-year students (including three Batten students), the Up to Us campaign, began on January 22 and runs through March 2. It is part of a nation-wide campus competition among 10 colleges to develop outreach regarding the nation’s fiscal status and future. The campaign has included over 20 events, ranging from academic (such as Flash Seminars) to social (ex: a national-debt themed trivia night at Mellow Mushroom). Such events aim to increase students’ awareness and knowledge about the national debt.
An event held on January 25th, titled “HOOs Talking about the National Debt”, featured three distinguished professors from various schools: Tom Massaro, Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law Emeritus, professor of pediatrics emeritus, and an expert on national health care systems; Craig Volden, professor of public policy and an expert on American political processes; and Herman Schwartz, professor of politics and expert on debt and political economy. Each professor shared their viewpoints on the United States budget deficit and its relevant consequences with, despite the snowy weather, over 60 students. With lunch kindly provided by the Batten Council, the students were extremely engaged, asking thought-provoking and introspective questions throughout the discussions.
One of the centerpieces of the campaign was a speech by Virginia Senator Mark on February 11. Introduced by University President Teresa Sullivan, Senator Warner spoke to an audience of about 500 members of University of Virginia community regarding our nation’s debt crisis. Senator Warner has played a crucial role in addressing our nation’s fiscal challenges. Last year, Senator Warner helped organize a bipartisan coalition consisting of 45 Senators and 100 members of the House of Representatives to urge action on the debt. The former Virginia governor has been active on the issue of fiscal responsibility. A video of his talk is available online.
Throughout the campaign, Up to Us has received generous support from Batten’s community of faculty and students, with numerous sponsorships of events and aid in planning. The Up to Us team is extremely grateful to attend a school where all are so supportive and engaged in such an important issue as the national debt.
Upcoming events include:
Feb 28: How Students Can Save and Build Their Own Financial Future
Professor Karin Bonding
March 1: TEDTalk of “Final Thoughts”
Professor Mary Margaret Frank (Darden), Stuart Wolf (Engineering), and a Board of Visitors member will drive home the main take-away points of our national debt issue, why it’s important for students to get involved, and how UVA will be affected.
March 2: Closing Reception
Reception for all the attendees, professors, deans, community members, etc. who were involved in our campaign or who have attended any event
Serves as a closing opportunity for networking to continue work around the national debt
Please visit Causes.com/UpToUSUVA for more information.
– Post by Ryan Singel, MPP ‘14