Students study politics in England with former NJ Governor Jon Corzine
Former U.S. Senator and New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine (center, back row), taught a course on populism in politics to students in FDU’s University Honors Program during July 2016, at FDU’s Wroxton College in England. The 12 undergraduate students, all from the Florham Campus, enjoyed the special opportunity to study under the former leader and the insights his experience brought to the classroom. A highlight of the course was a tour of the Houses of Parliament in London. Some of the students share their reflections on the course:
Sarah Hof, marketing major
If there’s anything that I’ve learned from all of the discussions with Governor Corzine and my fellow students, it’s that it’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you in the world.
The “common man” (especially in politics) for whom leaders always claim to go to bat, especially benefits from being aware of populism, and populist movements that undoubtedly will affect them in some way or another.
For instance, I think what surprised me most about Governor Corzine’s topic was that, despite my genuine efforts to be a well-rounded and informed citizen, not even I could put the label “populism” on Trump or Sanders. First comes knowing what to label movements like theirs, but then comes understanding what that means.
This week has taught me that when there’s a movement as big as Trump’s or Sanders’, it would behoove an “everyman” to listen up, because even if they don’t win the election, they’ve inspired countless citizens, just like him or her, and have raised their voice so loud that the establishment has no choice but to listen – perhaps not comply – but at least be much more aware of what their own constituents want. In short, people must be aware of these movements because in some ways, they will be affected by it.
Jonathan Daverso, international business major
Being able to spend a week at Wroxton with Mr. Corzine, other students and FDU faculty was a very unique and thought-provoking experience. In the context of the current political discussions going throughout the world, there could not have been a better time to discuss populism. I would describe populism as a tool for political leaders in order to harness anger or great emotion that a population of people feels towards a particular issue. Leaders can use common populist arguments, themes, and sayings that rally the masses behind their cause.
Serina Grande, wealth management major
Studying abroad has been my biggest dream ever since I knew it was even possible to travel. I have always believed that traveling has the ability to broaden one’s horizon in every aspect.
The most important part of this trip for me was a change of perspective. Traveling to England, I got to see how the British view their government, their society and the rest of the world. It appears that society as a whole in England (and other parts of the world) are much more conscious of what’s happening around them than we are. For example, when we visited The Crystal Exhibition, it showed me how little the United States does to preserve our planet.
Sofia dos Santos, hospitality and tourism management major
Going to England, I was warned that I would need to walk around with an umbrella as a third arm. I did not expect it to be as beautiful as it was. The weather was different every hour but it was so cool to experience it. I was really fascinated by the way it would rain for thirty minutes and be fifty-five degrees, then be a beautiful seventy-five degree sunny day.
Having Governor Corzine teach this class made it more interesting, as it’s not everyday that someone is handed an opportunity to be taught by a previous government official where he would be able to share his view points and opinions with students.
The University Honors Program offers exceptional students a superior educational experience. The program combines advanced, multidisciplinary coursework through all four years with co-curricular activities that give students an opportunity to explore the campus, the local area, and the world.
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