Former Kansas Senators Nancy Kassebaum and Bob Dole visited the Dole Institute Saturday to hold a discussion on the state of today’s Congress and politics. Together, they reflected on their total combined 53 years of service in Congress.
“People aren’t willing to work across the aisle,” Kassebaum said. “Today’s problems are different, but significant.”
Dole continued to stress the importance of friendship and trust between all members of the legislative and executive branches.
Kassebaum recalled when she worked with President Reagan, they did not always agree on issues at hand, but he always ended the conversation in an upbeat way. She wishes conversations today would be more reflective of this type of respect.
Meanwhile, Dole is still encouraging citizens to volunteer and get involved.
“We need some leadership to get more young people interested in public service,” Dole said.
The discussion came to a close by surprising Kassebaum with the annual Dole Leadership Award that has been given to other influential leaders such as President Clinton.
Student Body President Stephonn Alcorn said the leadership influences of Dole and Kassebaum impact his own actions within KU politics.
“One of the things I’ve been definitely trying to do is going into different communities and hearing their voices and seeing how we can work together,” Alcorn said. “I think there is no other two people to illustrate that better than [Senators Kassebaum and Dole].”
The Dole Institute will hold its next discussion about animal welfare in America. It begins Wednesday at 7 p.m.