Public Administration Department continues discussion on the first 100 days of the Trump administration


Joel Hopkins/The Record

Dr. Suparna Soni, Sara Norrevik, Michael Schraft and Dr. Anthony Neal listen to student questions at Thursday’s “First 100 Days” panel.

Joel Hopkins, Opinion Editor

The SUNY Buffalo State Public Administration Department is aiming to provide a new platform for political discussion on campus.

The third event in Buffalo State’s ongoing series of panels on The First 100 Days of the Trump Administration took place Thursday afternoon in the Bulger Communication Center. The topic of discussion was foreign affairs. 

“I think it’s important for students to discuss things in an educational setting — things that they hear on TV and read about,” said Sara Norrevik, an EU Fulbright Scholar and former Political Advisor to Sweden’s Minister for Defence. 

“The First 100 Days” initiative, co-chaired by Dr. Laurie Buonanno and Dr. Anthony Neal aims to keep up with the decades-old tradition of evaluating presidencies based on their performance within the first 100 days of their administration.

Thursday’s panel consisted of three expert faculty members who have personal experience in global affairs.

Norrevik spoke first on Donald Trump’s administration from a European point of view. She touched on topics such as the president’s view on the European Union, “fake news” and global effects of the media, and the potential of Russian intervention in American politics.

Following Norrevik was Suparna Soni, a doctor of philosophy in political science who spent years as an officer for an Indian non-governmental organization. Soni spoke on the reception of Trump and his policies in India, and went on to start an open conversation with the audience on the issue of immigration. 

Michael Schraft, an Americanist who spent time as a Peace Corps Volunteer spoke last and from a U.S. perspective. Schraft brought up federal military spending and “deterrence theory,” as well as the implications of State Department budget cuts and Trump’s shifting stance on NATO.

When Schraft concluded, the floor was opened up and panel co-chairs Neal and Buonanno joined in with the panelists to respond to audience questions.

After the discussion concluded, panelists Norrevik and Schraft reflected positively on the event.

“It was very interactive, and it was an open forum. We talked on a wide range of issues, from international to domestic policy issues,” Schraft said.

“We heard different perspectives, and had great participation from the students,” Norrevik said.

Schraft believes it is especially important to discuss the first 100 days of the Trump administration with students, who are oftentimes “newly-minted” voters.

The next “First 100 Days” event will take place Tuesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. in Classroom Building B108, and a list of all upcoming events can be found here:

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