The USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy opens next Monday with a ceremony that will include the former governor, Sen. John McCain and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, among other politicians, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The institute will be housed in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and will focus on transcending partisanship in state, social and economic policies throughout the nation and the world.
Many students believe that the institute will add an intriguing element to USC and its academics.
“It is a really cool and great idea on the school’s part to have major representation at [an] institute based on politics,” freshman neuroscience major Melissa Bonner said.
Schwarzenegger will also serve as a professor at USC. He believes that students can learn from Hollywood and apply those lessons to the world of politics.
The former governor donated $20 million from his personal funds to create the institute. The expense of this project, however, leads some students to believe that Schwarzenegger has ulterior motives for starting the institute.
“If he just gave money for school then it’s OK, but I’m kind of questioning his motives for it,” said Mike Kordbacheh, a graduate student studying international public policy and management. “There’s a bit be more to it and politics might definitely be behind it.”
There is also concern that the former governor and his classes will have no academic value in an institute dedicated to politics.
“Politics has nothing to do with Hollywood,” Kordbacheh said.
“There’s not much politics can learn from Hollywood.”
Still, many students expressed curiosity to see the impact the institute will have on USC in the long run.
“The institute is beneficial because global policy is important also,” Jordan Caldwell, a sophomore majoring in public relations, said. “We have a school for public policy, so I guess this will be an interesting addition.”