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Tackling Tough Topics

Students gather at Rockefeller Center to discuss the big issues

On Nov. 1, members of the First Year Forum gathered at the Rockefeller Center to talk about immigration. Juniors Adria Buchanan '08, Habiba Musah '08, and senior Justin Zalkin '07 serve as group leaders for First Year Forum discussions, which have recently focused on a range of topics from the future of higher education to solving religious conflicts.

Adria Buchanan '08
Adria Buchanan '08 and B.B. Lever '10
Adam Halpern-Leistner '10
Adam Halpern-Leistner '10
Michael Coburn '10
Michael Coburn '10
Meagan Patrick '10
Meagan Patrick '10
Alexander Kell '10
Alexander Kell '10

First Year Forum is one of several student-led groups, including Agora, the Daniel Webster Legal Society, Parliamentary Debate, Politalk, and Women in Leadership, that gather to grapple with the big issues. "They provide an important outlet for student-driven opinion," says Andrew Samwick, professor of economics and director of the Rockefeller Center, which sponsors the groups. "It's one of the best ways for students to explore their interests in politics, law, leadership, and campus issues."

Michael Herman '07, who leads the Daniel Webster Legal Society, says the concept is reminiscent of 18th-century Parisian salons. "It's old fashioned but incredibly relevant," he says. "And it gives students a chance to step away from electronic communication."

By STEVEN J. SMITH

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Last Updated: 5/30/08