The “100 Years of Russian – U.S. Relations Panel” has been one of my favorite events I have attended on campus thus far. The discussion was not only informative, but incredibly varied concerning perspective. The Russian Revolution was discussed (which is marking its hundred year anniversary soon) as well as how this event dramatically changed Russian – U.S. relations and has guided us as two superpowers to the present day. Beyond that, the speakers went in-depth on current Russian – U.S. affairs, the major roadblocks in our respective ideologies, and key diplomatic flashpoints in each of our histories.
The main aspect of the panel that I appreciated was the varying views that were brought to the table. From Dan Kovalik’s focus on failed U.S. policy and interventions to Dr. Daniel Kempton’s views on the Soviet Union’s involvement in Africa. Dr. Katja Wetzel provided a unique middle ground since she is German who lived in East Germany and witnessed firsthand life under Communist rule. The variation of views made for an incredibly balanced and deep discussion. In the end, despite opposing opinions, the speakers all shook hands, concluding a wonderful Political Science Symposium.
– Ian Stubbs