CSU, Chico News

Students Provide Focus for Spring 2009 Town Hall Meeting

Date: 03-25-2009

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico students will lead discussions on issues of local, national and international interest at a town hall meeting Wednesday, April 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the BMU Auditorium.

CSU, Chico’s Town Hall Meeting program helps develop students’ writing and research, along with their civic engagement and connection with the community. Wednesday’s town hall will be the sixth since the program started in 2006.

Approximately 450 California State University, Chico students and an additional 50 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 classroom research and writing projects.

The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Please call 898-6579 for more information.

The town hall meeting is the culminating experience for students in the English 130 (Academic Writing) class. English professor Jill Swiencicki, coordinator of the Academic Writing Program, said the students research issues, write about them, prepare presentations on the topics and participate in purposeful discussions and activities.

“The town hall meeting invites students to share their research with their peers at a stage in their writing when they might be feeling isolated and beleaguered in the solitariness of it all,” said Swiencicki. “All scholars need to bring their findings to the light of day—to test out their emergent theories, listen to the ideas and perspectives of others who share related curiosities, and decide how best to act given the new knowledge they possess. The experience aims to invigorate their ideas, their writing and the community.”

Roundtable issues will include the California Budget crisis, technology use in everyday life, gender and violence, and climate change.

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. It is supported in part by Undergraduate Education and Dean Bill Loker, and by a grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Charles Engelhard Foundation’s Bringing Theory to Practice Project. The Town Hall Program Web page is www.csuchico.edu/engl/awp/townhall, and the First-Year Experience Program page is www.csuchico.edu/fye/.