This story is an abridged version of a report by Will Senar in the award-winning Suffolk Journal student newspaper.
When you put a Republican and a Democrat in a room these days, you might expect them to be constantly undermining each other. ... But this was not the case when Congress to Campus came to Suffolk University.
Former U.S. House members Sam Coppersmith (D-Arizona) and Ann Marie Buerkle (R-New York) talked to students about American government, politics and public affairs during a three-day visit as part of the biennial Congress to Campus program.
“This program wants to encourage students to consider careers in public service.” said Coppersmith. “Public service can be a great opportunity if you are interested in politics. But public service is far more than just running for office and can open up many different possibilities.”
Coppersmith served in Congress from 1993 to 1995 and has since been a managing partner of Coppersmith Schermer & Brockelman PLC. He also has written columns for the East Valley Tribune, which covers a region east of Phoenix.
Buerkle was a House member from 2011 to 2013 and worked in the U.S. Attorney General’s office from 1997 to 2010. She now is commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. She was involved with Vera House, a pro bono rape crisis center, before entering politics.
Despite different political views, both love public and political service. They credit their involvement with public service with their election to Congress and advised students to consider careers in this area.
“Congress is an extension of [public service],” said Buerkle. “If you're not involved, you won't have any say and knowledge on what you're doing.”