SUNY Old Westbury is seeking to retain their 2018 first place finish, and will once again participate in the "Up to Us" national collegiate campaign to raise awareness regarding America's fiscal and economic health. The College's student team will once again create a program to educate the campus about national debt, and how it could affect economic opportunities and budget challenges.
Up to Us is a non-partisan program sponsored by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative University, and Net Impact. The national competition is in its sixth year.
The first event for the 2019 team, led by senior John Holst, will take place on March 8, 2019 for a panel discussion on "Budget, Deficit, and Debt: Where the Rubber Hits the Road." Additionally, the team is requesting that the campus community takes the online Up to Us pledge to contact representatives on the importance of a "fiscally-sound future." Programs will be planned throughout the Spring 2019 semester leading up to the annual Spring event in Washington D.C.
The 2018 winning team from Old Westbury supervised by Professors Thomas DelGiudice and Veronika Dolar, developed and implemented an imaginative campaign demonstrating the detrimental impact of the current fiscal trajectory. Comprised of Politics, Economics and Law majors Evan Rufrano, Holst, Priscila Ortega, Matthew Schmitt, and Josselin Paz Torres, the team created an interactive walkway – “Debt Boulevard” – that stretched across campus and helped students learn the facts about fiscal policy with each step. In addition to the on-campus installation, the team organized a bipartisan debate between local elected officials, and a lecture series featuring distinguished professors. Upon winning the 2018 grand prize, the students donated a portion of the $10,000 to the College's Panther Pantry.