WSU Campus Begins Pre-Election Conversations about the Issues

October 7, 2016
By: Guest Contributor

As November draws near, the United States is turning a vast amount of its attention toward the presidential election. Being the strong center of media attention for the past two years, the candidates are having their every move intently watched—from their past finances, to their personal health, to their opinions and political policies. In what seems like one of the most heavily monitored races in recent history, the time for choices and decisions is coming to a close; voters will have to decide who is to become the next President of the United States of America.

In the month leading up to the presidential election, the Worcester State University community will be holding a large variety of democracy events on- and off-campus. Art exhibits, discussion panels, seminars, and movies are part of the larger discussion of looking at past and present day events in our country, and discussing what actions will best help the future of the United States.

Come join the discussions of hot topics such as voting rights, global climate, higher education, and immigration, and learn about how the November 8th vote could affect them. Campus events are free and open to the public.

Democracy Cafés

Join the political conversations presented through lectures, movies, and non-partisan panels at the pop-up Democracy Cafés between October 17 and October 28. This multi-day, campus-wide program provides participants with opportunities to explore some of today’s most pressing political issues and how they relate to voters. Choose from the wide variety of events and topics, including:

  • Foreign policy
  • Law and order, police violence, and guns
  • Immigration
  • Global climate
  • LGBTQ issues
  • Hate speech and propaganda
  • Women’s rights
  • Income inequality
  • Student debt
  • Voter suppression

Citizen Art Exhibit

Through Worcester State’s partnership with the Worcester Art Museum,  WSU students and employees are invited to view Picket Fence to Picket Line, an exhibit designed to spark discussion about the question of citizenship and how we define it. The exhibit, which runs October 15 through February 5, takes participants through a journey to show exactly how the term “citizenship” has been historically defined and applied. With the upcoming election in mind, Picket Fence to Picket Line connects citizenship from past to present, with relevancy to the voters’ decision in November.

The WSU community also is invited to a lecture on one work in the exhibit, Jacob Lawrence’s colorful screenprint, “The 1920s…The Migrants Cast Their Ballots,” on October 20 at 6 p.m. Valerie Mercer, curator of the General Motors Center for African American Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, will discuss this important work and its significance to the exhibition and to Lawrence’s career. Transportation is available for WSU students by contacting Professor of Philosophy Kristen Waters, Ph.D., at before Monday, October 17.

Voting Regulations

One week before Election Day, on November 1, the Center for the Study of Human Rights is hosting a day-long conversation on voting regulations. The program is geared toward promoting the discussion of the effects of redistricting and voter identification laws both in the Worcester community and across the country. Discover the rules, regulations, and your right as a voter.

Admission to the following events is free and open to the public. Lectures will take place in Fuller Theater:

1 p.m. – University of Chicago sociologist Michael Rodríguez-Muñiz’s lecture on “Race and Voting Rights in a Time of White Demographobia”

2:30 p.m. – Expert panel on “Voter ID Laws and Voter Mobilization”

4 p.m. – Expert panel on “Redistricting and the Community Response”

April Goddard ’17 is an English major and intern in the WSU Marketing Office. 

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