Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP) kicked off the spring 2016 semester with its biannual open house event. Undergraduates filled the halls of the JFK Jr. Forum at Harvard Kennedy School, looking to register for programming and catch a preview of the year to come.

Students were greeted with patriotic decorations and tri-fold project boards, which detailed the finer points on all 14 IOP programs. IOP Student Advisory Committee (SAC) members, with red, white, and blue flair in stock, engaged the crowd, making pitches and sharing their enthusiasm for the new term. On a secondary stage toward the back of the hall, selfies were snapped with cardboard cutouts of every 2016 presidential candidate.

In her opening remarks to the student body, IOP Director Maggie Williams said, “You do not have to be a government concentrator to feel at home at the IOP.” She went on to say, “Current IOP participants and alums span the range of concentrations – from music to mathematics; from pre-med to philosophy.” Invoking the mission of the institute, Williams closed by saying, “The IOP is a gift to you. It is a gift to everyone interested in politics.”

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