An update from Crawford, a senior communication studies and economics major:

In addition to the Inauguration, D.C. hosts many other festivities and celebrations. However, due to the current economic situation, there were fewer balls and galas this year than there have been in the last 60 years. The cutback was meant to reduce government spending and the amount of security and law enforcement personnel needed. Luckily I was able to attend two of these balls.

After spending the morning at the Inaugural ceremony, I attended my home state ball, the Tennessee State Society Ball, at the Sphinx Club on Monday night. Despite not knowing anyone upon my arrival, I quickly bonded with my fellow statesmen. Meeting and talking with them, it was evident they loved Tennessee. I got the chance to meet with my Congressman Jim Cooper. He gave me lots of individual attention, despite me being a college student and there being other much more important people there.

It was amazing to see how many connections I shared with these people who now live in D.C. I realized it’s important not only to have pride in your country, but also in your state.