A fall break field trip Oct. 6 took about 150 students from N.C. State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to Washington, D.C. The group included students in the AgriBusiness Law course taught by instructor Ron Campbell of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department. The students paid their own travel expenses to experience and learn about the history and processes of lawmaking – a mission Campbell said was more than accomplished.
Within five hours of their 2:30 a.m. departure from N.C. State in three motor coaches, the students found themselves at the South Lawn of the White House, followed by a visit to the Lincoln Memorial. “The third stop was the United States Supreme Court, where the students spent time in the actual courtroom where monumental arguments and decisions are heard. They experienced real law firsthand,” Campbell said.
“Following the legal center, the group went on a treasure hunt in our nation’s home for national treasures, the Library of Congress,” said Campbell. “They experienced the astounding decor of the Thomas Jefferson Building and saw the original library donated by the third President. Today, this storehouse holds in five buildings more than 144,000 pieces, of which only 21 percent are books.”
Campbell said that the CALS students divided into teams of four and sought out various books, maps and display items.
The students’ last destination was the U.S. Capitol Building and its new visitors’ center.
“There on the steps of the Senate side of the Capitol, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina took time from her busy schedule to answer questions posed by the students,” said Campbell. “That day she had just finished her Senate vote on the imbalance of China trade and the over value of that nation’s currency. Our students were excited to meet one of North Carolina’s U.S. Senators.”
The group returned that same day, Campbell said, “tired, exhausted and enthralled with all they had experienced.”
– Terri Leith