Editorial: DC is the place to be in 2012

by Editorial Board / Beacon Staff • February 4, 2012

At Issue: D.C. program expects more applicants for fall 2012
Our Take: Emerson’s politicos shouldn’t miss out

For the last few months we’ve watched the beginning of a presidential race unfold during the Republican primary. While candidates are eager to distance themselves from Washington-as-usual, the fact remains that shaping policy and observing political history can best be done in our nation’s capital.

Emerson students have until April 1 to apply to relocate to a city on which the nation will fixate over the next nine months until Barack Obama’s presidency is assessed by the public. Incumbent congressmen will be replaced by freshmen; freshmen will be ousted by challengers. But even if political communication is not your bailiwick, there’s something for every major to gain from the experience of witnessing our democracy in motion.

Internships abound. There are stories to be written for CNN or The Washington Post. Campaigns to be organized for Republicans and Democrats. Funds to be raised and fights fought for D.C.’s countless nonprofits.

Consider another semester in Boston, walking to campus from Beacon Hill or picture yourself strutting up Capital Hill. Imagine taking the Red Line from Central Square, or taking the DC Metro to Dupont Circle.

Last year, administrators only found 14 who qualified for the 20-student quota for the Washington Center. Next semester should change that.

David Griffin, the director of international study and external program, said he believes the presidential race will draw more applicants than before.

And while the social scenes of Sox fans and Sam Adams will be missed, rooting for stumping patriotic candidates might just trump pigskin-tossing Patriots.

With the Smithsonian, the Kennedy Center, and countless monuments, D.C. is more than the place you visited on your eighth grade class trip. There are clubs, trendy neighborhoods, and restaurants—everything Boston has to offer but with a more young professional vibe.

This is a chance that comes once in a college career, to see the nation’s power-brokers working to elect -- or re-elect -- the most powerful man in the world. Whether you’re there with a camera and notebook, a picket sign and megaphone, or just your right to vote, D.C.’s draw this fall is magnetic.