CSU, Chico News

Presidential Election Is Focus of Spring 2008 Town Hall Meeting

Date: 04-29-2008

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico students will focus on issues relevant to the upcoming Presidential election at a town hall meeting Wednesday, May 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the BMU Auditorium.

The Town Hall Meeting program, launched at CSU, Chico in 2006, helps increase students’ civic engagement and connection with the community.

Approximately 450 California State University, Chico students and an additional 200 community and campus members are expected to take part in roundtable discussions and other activities. Students lead and participate in the roundtable talks as part of semester-long research and writing projects.

The event is free and the public is invited to attend. The town hall is followed by a reception at 8 p.m. Call 898-6579 for more information.
The town hall meeting is the culminating experience for students in English 130 (Academic Writing) classes. English professor Jill Swiencicki, coordinator of the Academic Writing Program, said the students research issues, write about them, prepare to make presentations on the topics and participate in purpose-driven discussions and activities.

This spring’s town hall theme, “What Matters in the 2008 Presidential Election,” will prompt discussions on topics such as race, sex, and gender in the elections, Iraq and the candidates’ positions, climate change, health care and education. Other town hall roundtable topics include the role of humor in a democracy, presidential history and rethinking U.S. consumption habits. These roundtables are facilitated by students who spent the semester researching these issues.

In addition to the evening town hall meeting, about 130 students will be in the Free Speech Area from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7 displaying and discussing their research and engaging community members in activities related to the roundtable topics.

The town hall meeting is an important feature of CSU, Chico’s First Year Experience Program, which is designed to help first-year students succeed academically and socially, and make a smooth transition to university life.