Former U.S. Reps. Robert A. Weygand (D-RI) and Bob McEwen (R-OH) will be in residence at Suffolk University Feb. 19 through and 21 as part of the Congress to Campus program, which offers students perspectives about American government, politics and public affairs from people who have experienced the workings of Washington firsthand.

The bipartisan team of former congressmen will conduct classes, meet with students and hold public events, offering insights into American democracy through the lens of their real-life experiences as candidates and office holders.

“This program provides us with an opportunity to discuss issues of national importance with people who have a real understanding of how Congress works -- and sometimes doesn’t work,” said Julia Collins Howington, director of the Moakley Institute at Suffolk University. “More importantly without the pressure of an upcoming campaign or the latest news cycle, these former members of Congress can tell it like it is.”

As they conduct classes, hold forums, and meet informally with students and faculty McEwen and Weygand will present a model for bipartisan democracy, demonstrating that decent people with different points of view are able to discuss constructive ways to work through differences and solve public problems.

Public events include:

  • Legislative Responses to Gun Violence
    4-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., Boston, fourth floor
    A panel discussion featuring McEwen; Weygand; Richard Arenberg of the Government Department; Professor Erika Gebo, Sociology; and Distinguished Scholar in Residence James Carroll, who will serve as moderator.
  • Rappaport Roundtable: Gridlock in Congress: Can Washington Tackle Today's Pressing Issues?
    Noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, Sargent Hall, 120 Tremont St., Boston, first-floor function room
    Government Department Chair Rachael Cobb, Weygand and McEwen will discuss gridlock and polarization in Congress, the role of the Tea Party, and the prospects for meaningful congressional action on issues such as the national debt and gun control. Co-sponsored by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service, the Moakley Archive and Institute, and the Suffolk University Government Department, with financial support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Biographies

Robert A. Weygand is vice president for Administration and Finance and an adjunct assistant professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Rhode Island He has served as the president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education. He is a former congressman, lieutenant governor and state representative from Rhode Island.

Bob McEwen is senior adviser with a national law firm. He represented Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives for six terms, where he served on the Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Rules. As one of only four Republicans on the 13-member Rules Committee, McEwen managed nearly one-third of all legislation on the House floor for the Republican side of the Congressional aisle. He also served three terms in the Ohio General Assembly.