Mason Student Has a Hand in Making History
Posted: January 20, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
By Rey Banks
George Mason University student Cami Ragland has had a bird’s-eye view of all things inaugural this week. As a staffer for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Ragland has a major role in organizing today’s presidential inauguration, from assisting with the production, printing, and distribution of the highly coveted tickets to arranging platform seating for the swearing-in. Ragland, who expects to graduate in May with a BA in Government and International Politics, has been working for the committee since last June.
Ragland attributes securing her current position to the luck of running into the father of a friend. “At the time, I happened to be looking for an internship and noticed [he] was wearing a U.S. Senate ID badge. He helped me land an interview with the Senate Rules Committee.” Her luck didn’t end there. When an opening came up on the inaugural committee, she jumped at the opportunity, temporarily trading her part-time job auditing reimbursement vouchers with the Rules Committee for a front-line job on the inauguration.
While working for the inaugural committee, Ragland was based in the Russell Senate Office Building, where she helped distribute tickets for swearing-in seating that citizens had reserved through their congressmen. She also helped determine where each VIP on the presidential swearing-in platform was to sit. Although the pace has been hectic and the work nonstop, she says she has enjoyed the excitement of being so involved in such an important event.
Her first-ever inauguration ceremony holds a number of possibilities for Ragland. She is looking forward to getting an up-close-and-personal glimpse of the president, first lady, and other political glitterati. So far, she has come in contact with only a few notable senators and congressmen, but she is hopeful.
Although the senior has not yet decided what she plans to do after graduating, she acknowledges the valuable experience and contacts she has been afforded by this opportunity.