When most Harvard students need a study break they head to the Square. But last week, one junior decided to go a little farther--to the White House to meet the President.
Lauren K. Kramer-Dover '98 was among six students who were introduced to President Clinton last Thursday in Washington D.C., after his speech announcing the new educational policies his administration plans to implement during his second term.
The Lowell House resident and psychology concentrator said she was asked to represent Harvard at the White House by Director of Financial Aid James S. Miller.
"I was very honored to be able to go and be able to represent Harvard in Washington," she said. "I felt that my role there was to represent Harvard and also to represent a greater body of undergraduates who were being enabled to attend school through the federal loan program."
Three undergraduates and three graduate students were invited to the White House, representing schools including Colorado State University, University of Michigan Wesleyan and Hope College.
The students spent all day last Thursday in Washington. They met with members of the Department of Education in the morning and were briefed about the President's educational policies.
In the afternoon, the students spent about an hour and a half in the White House, half of that time in the Oval Office, where Clinton held a press conference. Secretary of Education Richard Riley presented Clinton with a report saying that loan defaults have decreased, and the President followed with a short speech on expanding access to higher education.
Clinton spoke about the federal direct loan program and the Hope scholarship--which would provide tax relief for families who are paying for students to go to school.
After the press conference, Clinton talked to each of the students individually.
"[It] was a very fun experience to be able to talk to him afterwards," Kramer-Dover said. "He seemed very interested in the various activities [in which] I was involved."
"I thought he was a very genuine person, and I was very happy to be able to join him and support the programs and the causes [about which] he was speaking," Kramer-Dover said.
Unfortunately, the trip had a down side for Kramer-Dover. She returned just in time to take her finals.
"It's definitely anti-climatic," she said.
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