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Recent graduate shares his Experience Attending the SCUSA at West Point


Recent graduate shares his Experience Attending the SCUSA at West Point

Ethan McGregor is a Winter 2023 graduate of the Nistler College of Business and Public Administration. Ethan graduated with the highest honors on December 15, 2023, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. During his time as an undergraduate student, he had the opportunity to attend the SCUSA at West Point.

“Going to West Point for the Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA) was an unforgettable experience. The whole trip lasted about five days. When we got there, we were given all of the supplies and materials we would need throughout the week. After checking in we were introduced to the cadets that we would be staying with. As delegates for the conference, we weren’t allowed to walk around the installation without a cadet accompanying us.

The first couple of days were all very similar. We discussed the topic of our white paper throughout the morning and parts of the afternoon. We spent much of the time discussing the topics our roundtables were assigned. My roundtable was assigned “Europe and the United States: Maintaining Common Goals and Interests.” Once finding points we all agreed on, we started drafting our white paper. These papers were supposed to be roughly two to three pages long. There was much discussion on fine tuning the wording and other finishing touches. Each roundtable was assigned two experts from West Point to assist and help steer us back on track. They not only helped with this experience but also encouraged us to reach out after the conference should we be looking for advice or contacts to assist with professional development.

These days also included some time to explore the campus and learn about the life of a cadet. Having enlisted in the Air Force myself, I am familiar with military training environments, but this was like nothing I had ever seen before. My military training experience and college experience were two very different and distinct parts of my life. At West Point, these experiences were blended together. We also ate with the cadets in the dining hall. It was absolutely massive. The architecture of the buildings was amazing.

During this experience, I made lasting connections. I still stay in contact with friends from Iowa to Norway and Sweden. The connections you make are global in scope. Not only did this experience teach me more about international politics, but it also gave me more experience interacting with people from many different cultures and background. Another lasting impact came in the form of involvement. One of the contacts I made was on the steering committee for the Chicago International Model United Nations. She got me involved in that as well. Chairing CIMUN’s UN Security Council would never have happened had I not attended SCUSA. These experiences are more than just conferences. You never know who you will meet are what you will get involved in.”