With the election less than a month away and with major issues facing the nation, from the financial crisis to education and health care to the war on terror, voters may feel more confused than ever - especially first time voters.
The East Central University Day of Dialogue will be held Tuesday [Oct. 21], from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., in the Estep Multimedia Center, located inside the University Center. This event will focus on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008; No Child Left Behind; local, state and national elections. The Day of Dialogue is sponsored by ECU's department of political science and legal studies along with the American Democracy Project and the Center for the Study of Political Community are sponsoring the Day of Dialogue.
"We are planning this as part of an effort to educate the ECU campus community about the issues involved in election 2008 at the local, state and national levels," said Dr. Christine Pappas, ECU assistant professor of political science.
There are discussion panels scheduled throughout the day beginning with a welcome from Lauren Hensley, president of the Student Senate, followed by the first issue forum, The Economy, at 9:30 a.m., with featured speakers who will discuss the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 including Amy Elliott, Tri-County Redevelopment Grant; Dr. Jim Rauch, ECU School of Business and Roger Gaddis, Gaddis Financial Solutions.
The second forum on state issues will be at 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. followed by a 12:30 p.m. education issue forum. Guest speakers Dr. Bill Osborne, dean of the College of Education and Psychology; Dr. Karla Peterson, chair of the department of business administration and director of entrepreneurship and Dr. Diane Berty, vice president of student development will discuss the No Child Left Behind Act, how education prepares students for the workforce and the cost of tuition at ECU.
State Rep. Todd Thomsen and his challenger Gary Starns will be the special guests at the candidate forum beginning at 2 p.m. This forum will allow voters to hear from both of the candidates running for House District 25.
State Sen. Susan Paddock will speak at 3 p.m.
The final issue forum, War on Terror, will begin at 4 p.m. and feature a representative from the Collegiate Veterans Association; Dr. John Ulrich, director of the Center for the Study of Political Community and professor of political science; Dr. Rich Putnam, professor of education and veteran and Dr. Brian Bentel, from the department of sociology. Topics for this forum will include a political history of the war on terror as well as arguments against it.
Tables will be set up at the Day of Dialogue providing information from the Democratic Party, the Republican Party and other candidates or groups as well as information about obtaining absentee ballots, early voting and transportation to the polls on Election Day. Campaign ads from the various candidates will be played for audience viewing in between the forums.
"Our strategy," said Pappas, "has three prongs - to register, to educate and to mobilize. We hope that the Day of Dialogue helps to foster a norm of political participation and learning about politics especially among ECU students."
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