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The Institute of Politics welcomed students to its spring open house Friday afternoon and showcased the arrival of its spring fellows and the new director of the IOP, C. M. Trey Grayson ’94, Kentucky’s outgoing Secretary of State.
Grayson has been reaching out to student groups all week at events like pub trivia at the Queen’s Head Pub and dinners with students at various dining halls. Friday afternoon was no different as he welcomed students to the event and was constantly surrounded by a swarm of open house attendees.
“Every night this week, I have been out meeting students and getting reacquainted with campus,” said Grayson. “[The IOP] is a place that meant a lot to me when I was here and I hope to get as many people involved as possible.”
The IOP, unlike some student organizations, heavily recruits new members half-way through the academic year, Harleen K. Gambhir ’14, program chair for the Special Events Committee, said that the open house helps to inform students that the IOP is a welcoming student organization.
Gambhir added that the spring open house tended to appeal particularly to freshmen who are still shopping extracurriculars on campus.
“Freshmen can start out with some activities and then decide to drop them or that they want to look for other things to get involved in,” Gambhir said.
“The IOP is great in that we welcome people at this point half-way through the year.”
Members of the IOP said that the new members that the IOP brings in every semester are one of the ways that their organization stands out on campus.
“Because the fellows are new every semester, it’s a way for us to bring new energy and movement to the program,” said Jeffrey F. Solnet ’12, president of the IOP. “Every semester is a little bit different because we have a new group of fellows.”
All of the fellows were in attendance at Friday’s open house and spent the afternoon meeting students and presenting information about their upcoming study groups. Caroline J. Croft, a former senior adviser at the State Department said that she enjoyed she meeting students and hopes to get more people involved in politics in her upcoming study group.
“I’ve had a great time today and I’ve had a chance to meet many students, including many international students who have shown interest and offered up their own ideas,” Croft said.
“I’m hoping this semester I can encourage more students to get involved in international affairs and international service.”
—Staff writer Monica M. Dodge can be reached at email@example.com.
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