Witnessing History: Western Student Tatum Buss Observes Impeachment Hearings

May 5, 2020

This year, thanks to the Western Foundation’s Student Ambassador Scholarship, third-year student Tatum Buss was able to work as an intern for her home state senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) in Washington, D.C. The experience allowed her to witness the ongoing impeachment hearings firsthand.

In her role as an administrator for Barrasso, Buss spent her days running errands, answering phone calls, and conducting legislative research for the senator and his senior staff.

During the impeachment hearings of President Donald Trump, Buss was able to experience something that has only happened three times in U.S. history.

“My internship gave me the opportunity to witness history,” Buss said. “I watched the impeachment trial from the Senate gallery as both sides presented their case. After work, I wrote in my journal so I could remember these experiences in the future.”

Although Buss must remain neutral when questioned about the impeachment hearings, listening to all the speeches on the floor provided her with valuable details and information of how the impeachments hearings work.

“I watched the Democratic managers for the House of Representative present their testimonies on why they felt President Trump is guilty,” Buss said. “I also attended the swearing in of all 100 senators for the trial. Seeing all of them in one room was incredible.”

Every day, Buss was given numerous tasks that had her moving from building to building. The constant stream of phone calls, the overflow of mail, and heightened security made Buss’ work even more stressful than usual.

“The internship was overwhelming,” Buss said. “I wanted to do my job well. Every errand was important, every project was important, and every person served a specific purpose.”

Buss served as a page for senator Mike Enzi, also from Wyoming, in her junior year of high school. During her first experience on Capitol Hill, she developed connections and forged relationships that allowed her to return. 

The political science major has served as senator for the Associated Students organization, and as a student ambassador for the Western Foundation. She is the 2019-20 recipient of the Student Ambassador Scholarship, in addition to the Bowman Family Distinguished Scholarship in 2017, and the Western Award for Excellence in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

“These scholarships are the only reason I am able to attend Western, and I am so thankful for the university’s thoughtful and dedicated donors.

Adapted from a story that appeared in Western Today on January 30 by Alfred Fuentes, Office of Communications intern.