College Leaders Program, Class of 2016
Day 13: June 23, 2016
Reported by Olivia Defibaugh, Virginia Commonwealth University
As we woke up this morning, a little less peppy than day one, the weather matched most of our moods: dreary. Our group sprinted to class under the protection of umbrellas, raincoats, and book bags alike.
Once everyone had arrived we were quickly separated into groups to embark on the day's activities. Five of us represented the Senate and the remaining nine represented the House. Each group moved to their "chambers" and began picking apart the Governor's proposed budget. It didn't take long for our class to learn that we were not going to get everything each individual had hoped.
As a society we are quick to blame our representatives for not accomplishing much, but after the Budget Game I have a better understanding for why that happens. Everyone came in with their own mindset of what was important. It was evident we were going nowhere fast and at some point, as lunch was approaching, we began to compromise.
It was not as simple as the majority of us thought it would be. Most lines in the budget were close to at least one person's heart, but the fact still remained that not everyone could be pleased. Hard decisions were made, and as a team we came to some common ground and balanced the budget.
After the simulation, everyone was ready to conversate over some lighter topics. Together we voted for our Class President and Class Speaker. Marc Reiner for President and Matt Revis as Speaker, two men who encompass a good representation of Sorensen.
We wrapped up our evening, finishing our culminating project and celebrating the new friendships we have made. As this program comes to a close, we look at one another not as a Liberal or Conservative, but as friends. People who have names, faces, and hearts to serve, behind our ideologies. I hope as I continue to do my best to be a public servant, that I one day have the honor to work alongside these upstanding individuals; no matter what side of the aisle we align with.