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By Julia Espero, ’18

Last week’s Public Policy Forum retreat began with my two favorite things: gyros and conversation.  All forum members were seated in the Donald Kennedy room of the Haas Center for Public Service, which was softly strung with festive lights. Laughter and light conversation filled the room as I ate my falafel and hummus.

As things began to settle down we transitioned into the first activity of the night: political trivia. We split into groups of six with SIG board members who joined us for the game. Each team chose its own name; “SEAL Team Six” and “Socks Clinton” (after the Clinton family cat) were two of my favorites.

After we settled on team names, the trivia began. Teams took turns answering questions about obscure political facts. If a team couldn’t answer a question, the first opposing team to raise their hands was given the opportunity to steal the question – thus SEAL Team Six was promptly renamed “STEAL” Team Six. Although I can’t remember who won, I do remember the names of the other new SIG members in my trivia group and some of the history we learned along the way.

After the trivia game, we moved on to a brainstorming session for upcoming events. As we warmed up our creative minds, we wrote down two current events on an index card: one that made us happy, and another we found displeasing. Anna Blue, director of the Public Policy Forum, read these answers out loud. She gave us an opportunity to think and talk amongst ourselves about how we would like to see SIG progress and become involved in the lives of Stanford students over the course of the year. We also broke into smaller discussion groups to talk about strategies for addressing political apathy at Stanford in the coming months.

Ed. note: On our blog, you’ll notice posts by a number of different authors, all of whom bring their unique voices and perspective to SIG. This post, and others like it, give readers a chance to hear from committee members like Julia. 

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