Students in this course are required to pay a class fee of $500 in addition to the regular tuition and fees. This fee covers all transportation costs for three class trips as well as some group meals.
This course is an intense immersion into the political history and practices of Virginia govenment and politics at the state and local levels. The concentration in this syllabus in on the basic and most important topics, and the reading load for each topic is substantial. The dedicated student should finish the course with a thorough preparatory background - perhaps enough to offer a tentative answer to Guy Friddell's query: "What Is It About Virginia?"
In addition to discussing the institutions of government, the class explores modern Virginia politics and the political leaders (governors, state legislators, congressmen) who have helped shape contemporary politics in the Commonwealth. Students study political hisstory of the state as well as recent gubernatorial and Legislative elections, comparing those elections to past statewide elections evaluating trends and chaniging demographics of the Commonwealth.