West Point Academy 2012

Meenu Krishnan

In November 2011, I had the pleasure of attending the 63rd Annual Student Conference on U.S. Affairs (SCUSA), held annually at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. This year’s conference dealt with the theme of “Thinking Beyond Boundaries: Contemporary Challenges to U.S. Foreign Policy,” and students were split into fourteen roundtables to discuss thematic topics, including cyberterrorism, regional conflicts, and the role of international organizations in formulating foreign policy. I was assigned to “The Americas at a Crossroads: Drugs, Crime, and State Fracture,” which examined the particular challenges faced by Latin America in today’s policy arena. During the conference, each round table had to tackle a policy issue (ours was the legalization of drugs), craft a policy proposal, and present it along with a skit to the entire conference on the last day. The conference offered a valuable opportunity to debate and develop foreign policy with bright college students. Moreover, the conference gave me a valuable glimpse into the complexities of life at West Point, a far different academic culture from that of Wake Forest.