Vanderbilt road trip to Iowa caucuses offers unique learning opportunity

The Office of Active Citizenship and Service is offering Vanderbilt University students and faculty the opportunity to experience firsthand a pivotal part of the 2008 presidential campaign by attending a rolling seminar to the Iowa caucuses. The bus will depart on Jan. 1 from the university to Des Moines for the four-day trip.

A small group of students and faculty will watch the American political process unfold, beginning with faculty-led seminars and small-group discussions on the bus. Once in Des Moines, students can volunteer with one of the candidates’ campaigns if they choose. There will also be opportunities to attend political rallies, observe the candidates on the trail and meet other college students involved in the campaigns.

“This rolling seminar will fully engage the students in the political process, while exposing them to diverse perspectives through their in-depth discussions with the other participants,” said Mark Dalhouse, director of the Office of Active Citizenship and Service. “In addition, there will be a special event for area Vanderbilt alumni and other friends of the university to interact with the students.”

The capstone of the four-day seminar will be the Iowa caucuses, which the participating students will be able to observe in various locations in Des Moines on Jan. 3. The rolling seminar is scheduled to return to Nashville on Jan. 4.

Last January OACS and the Division of Student Life sponsored Vanderbilt’s first rolling seminar when students, faculty and staff retraced the 1961 Freedom Rides with some of the original Freedom Riders. The group traveled to Montgomery and Birmingham.

Applications for the Iowa seminar, which are due by Nov. 16, are available at the Community Partnership House. The cost is $75 for students and $150 for faculty. For more information, call 322-3127 or email Dalhouse at

Media Contact: Ann Marie Deer Owens, 615-322-NEWS

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