Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will be on campus tonight


One of the awesome things about going to school in a small state like Lil’ Rhody is the unbelievable access we have to our politicians. Tonight, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will be on campus to speak about his work in Washington, D.C. and the current state of various pieces of national legislation. According to the Brown Dems’ Facebook event, the Senator will also talk about how young people can get involved in politics. The event is hosted by the Brown Dems and will take place at 8 p.m. in Wilson 101. It’s not every day that a Senator comes to our hill to talk about his work on The Hill, so if you’re around, consider checking it out.

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Students who do cool things: Camila Bustos ’16, Mara Freilich ’15, and Sophie Purdom ’16

Senator Whitehouse speaking at the event to promote the Resilient RI Act and other climate change initiatives.

Senator Whitehouse speaking at the event to promote the Resilient RI Act and other climate change initiatives.

On Thursday, March 20th, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave a special legislative briefing on federal climate change initiatives, and more specifically, the Resilient Rhode Island Act. While you may know that State Rep. Art Handy and State Senator Susan Sosnowski hosted the event at the Capital building downtown, you might not know that the Resilient RI Act would not have been possible without a group of dedicated, driven, and eco-friendly students from our very own Brown University.

We sat down with Camila Bustos ’16, Mara Freilich ’15, and Sophie Purdom ’16,  three of the student interns working on the Resilient RI Act, that seeks to make Rhode Island better equipped to address climate change, to talk a little bit about the event, what they’ve contributed, and what they really think about the dining halls.

BlogDH: So you guys are involved in something called the Resilient Rhode Island Act. Can you explain what that is for me?

Camila: Yeah, so, this is a piece of legislation we’re trying to get passed with Representative Art Handy and a group of consultants. And, basically, it’s legislation that combines mitigation and adaptation efforts in the face of climate change in Rhode Island.

BlogDH: What are you guys, as students, doing? Or what are your specific contributions and responsibilities with the act?

Sophie: I would just say that there are definitely more than the three of us. There’s been about five interns every semester, so there were five people that stayed here over winter break and worked on it, and there’s five people working right now, and there will be people following up over the summer.

BlogDH: When did the first round of interns start?

Sophie: This winter. And it’s been nicely supported by the administration, and we work specifically with Professor of Environmental Sociology Timmons Roberts, and he’s been in the news a lot lately winning various awards and such. He’s a great guy. And there are two consultants as well, Ken Payne, who was the Rhode Island Senate Policy Council Chair, and he currently helps to run the Rhode Island Food Policy Council, and there’s Meg Kerr, who is an environmental consultant and [is[ basically  really great at running campaigns.

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In case you missed it: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse on The Colbert Report

Last night, our very own Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was on The Colbert Report to promote his new book, “On Virtues: Quotations and Insights to Live a Full, Honorable, and Truly American Life.” Think burn book, except full of inspiring quotes that make you feel all warm and fuzzy and American on the inside. When asked what makes him qualified to amass America’s virtues in quotes, Senator Whitehouse said,

Washington right now is a little short on some of the virtues— and I’m not even the senior senator from RI— but I want to do what I can to try to push a different debate into the discussion, and to look back and see what people have said and done at some of the most important times in history, things that capture a particular piece of the human spirit. I think that adds a little bit of value.

It’s nice to know there’s someone on the Hill that still has an ounce of hope in America.