By Lori Bredemeyer, Managing Editor
Two former congressmen visited campus Monday and Tuesday to speak to classes and meet with students about careers in public service. They came to the university as part of the Congress to Campus program, which sends former congressmen to colleges and universities across the nation to educate young people about Congress and what it means to serve the public.
Robert Daniel, R-Virginia, served in the House of Representatives from 1972 to 1982, and Harold Volkmer, D-Missouri, served from 1976 to 1998.
Daniel said he was invited to participate in the program and has visited schools such as the University of Mississippi, University of North Carolina and University of Texas for the past eight years.
“I found it interesting to meet with students and not only talk to them but see what they have to say on different things, and it keeps me in touch,” he said. “I think it’s desirable that our young people know the nature of the job of congressmen.”
Volkmer also was invited to participate, and for the past six years he has visited the University of West Virginia, University of California and University of Indiana, among others.
He said he thinks higher education benefits the entire nation, and that’s one reason he enjoys meeting with college students.
“Without it, a lot of our high school graduates would be relegated to that [high school]-that’s it, they go no further,” he said. “So it’s a waste of a lot of talent and is injurious to the country as a whole. We all benefit from it-from people being able to continue their education.”
The congressmen attended several political science, journalism and agriculture classes, visited with Lynay, Pope Fellows and other student leaders, and met with students individually to discuss careers in public service.
Volkmer said many students and people across the nation do not care about Congress or the government, but through the Congress to Campus program, he wants to try to educate young people about the nation’s leaders.
“Government has a lot to do with your life,” he said, “and if you don’t like the way the government is or you think the government should change, you better get in there and do something about it.”