In this blog series, we are highlighting our 2018-2019 Up to Us Competition top 5 teams! These emerging leaders are passionate millennials who care about our country's fiscal future and are brave enough to tackle a complex topic like the long-term national debt through creative bipartisan activities.
Today we are sharing the story of how one Up to Us team from Boston University became leaders in their campus community:
Team leader, Eva Jungreis and team member, Tallulah Kay overcame numerous challenges, including going from a team of four to two, to catapult into the top 5 for Up to Us and proudly represent Boston University.
Together, they held 20 boost activities to engage 500 of their peers on the topic of the long-term national debt. To kick off their campaign they attended Splash, BU’s club fair with what they refer to as “a flyer and a mission.” They came prepared with a campaign website including educational resources, a blog, and calendar of events. Their preparation paid off as they were able to use this event to pave the way for future partnerships.
Highlights from their campaign include a collaboration with the University’s HeForShe’s Women in Politics event where they brought together female professionals engaged in various aspects of the political campaign process to speak about their experiences, with a respected political science professor to moderate. They also hosted a movie night with Divest BU, where they screened Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock and facilitated a discussion about fiscal policy through the lens of a topical environmental issue. They even created an Art and Politics Night with the Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics Club (PPE) to provide a hands-on way to visualize the effects of fiscal policy.
To encourage millennials to make their voices heard in the midterm elections, they hosted a “Donut You Want to Vote” tabling event with the BU College Democrats. During the event, they handed out Dunkin Donuts (a Boston staple) and encouraged millennials to actively engage with their fiscal future.
We can’t forget to mention their My Two Cents Day (MTCD) event. Tallulah created a tangible way to put the vastness of the national debt into perspective by using a website that shows the national debt in terms of any item the user can imagine. They also created a graphic and hashtag to support this concept, called #theNationalDebtIs. Students could write the national debt in their own terms on a whiteboard to pose with for a picture. “All of the different values, written together on that whiteboard, acted as a staggering visual representation of the national debt, collectively reflecting the values of our community,” says Eva.
Their final event represented a culmination of the partnerships they created with BU and the rest of the Up to Us community. Eva and Tallulah coordinated a visit with Drew Smith, the Senior Deputy Treasurer and invited the Up to Us and Net Impact teams from Northeastern University, Worcester University, and Babson College, along with members of other BU clubs. After Drew’s tour of the treasury, they sat down with the city’s CFO, Emme Handy, and Budget Director, Justin Sterritt, and had a discussion about how fiscal policy operates in Boston as well as their opinions on fiscal policy nationally.
“We became leaders in the BU community by bringing together clubs that had never worked together before and by carving out a space for Up to Us on campus. Throughout the semester, we learned how to build a network that we hope continues for future leaders.” - Eva Jungreis, Boston University Up to Us team leader.
We are so proud of what the Boston University team, and all of the Up to Us Competition teams, accomplished this year!