After a four-year hiatus, the Jack L. Walker Conference on Political Affairs made its comeback to campus on Friday.
Previously an annual event, the conference addressed U.S. and European integration and the issues surrounding trade policy, industry structure and general U.S. and European Union interaction.
Desmond Dinan, professor of international commerce and policy at George Mason University, gave the keynote address. He discussed the effects of the Bush Administration on the U.S. and E.U. relations.
The event also featured a panel discussion with Dinan, University political science professors and a European Commission advisor from Washington.
The Undergraduate Political Science Association picked the conference topic and is one of its co-hosts.
UPSA president Mark Sherer, an LSA senior, said his goal for the year was to bring the event back after its four-year absence.
Sherer said he was pleased by student and faculty turnout and that he felt it was worth it to bring in new voices and give people the chance to hear their perspectives.
“It”s a chance for undergraduates to interact with scholars who”d usually only be at big scholarly conferences this is our chance as students to bring it to an undergraduate level,” he said.
He added that students don”t always have the opportunity to interact with international relations experts, and that after reading these scholars” works it”s nice to meet some of the people in the flesh.
“I think we”ve accomplished our goal here today,” he said. “We covered a wide spectrum of ages and education and created an engaging experience for undergraduates and faculty members.”
LSA junior Jessica Fogel said she found the conference educational and interesting because it gave her information and ideas from a variety of standpoints.
“I really liked that they brought in a professor from another school,” she said. “I think it”s neat to get the different perspectives.”
The conference was held this year in honor of Harold Jacobson, a political science professor retiring at the end of the year.
“It”s good that the undergraduates have revived the Walker conference,” Jacobson said. “They chose a very good topic to focus on an issue of concern that students should be paying attention to.”