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WSU hosts political roundtable discussion

Date: 10/17/2012

By Carley Dangona

WESTFIELD — Westfield State University (WSU) will host a roundtable discussion entitled, "An Exploration of Election Year 2012," on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Woodward Center.

The event features five panelists: Douglas Brinkley, historian and author of "Cronkite;" Hendrik Hertzberg, political commentator for "The New Yorker" and speechwriter for former President Jimmy Carter; Shannon O'Brien, former treasurer, State Representative and State Senator for the Commonwealth; Dan Thomasson, syndicated columnist and former vice president of Scripps Howard News Service; and Lowell Weicker, former Connecticut governor and U.S. Senator.

WSU is committed to educating students about the voting process and elections. Molly Watson, consultant for WSU president Evan Dobelle, elaborated on ways the college promotes the right to vote.

"Many departments are particularly active outside the classroom during election years. For example, the political science department conducted a Voter Registration Day in conjunction with Constitution Day on Sept. 17, during which it registered approximately 80 students.

"Voter registration is ongoing with the distribution of mail-in voter registration cards and applications for absentee ballots through the political science department. The Registrar's office also distributes mail-in registration forms."

Watson also commented on how the WSU courses educate students about the political process.

"WSU provides students with information on voting, political participation and citizenship in all of our sections of American National Government and State and Local Government. In addition, the political science department is currently offering a course called 'Political Change,' which specifically deals with the electoral process.

"In the spring, a Political Participation class, focusing on citizen engagement with government and a class examining the Presidency and Congress will be offered," she added.

The discussion is free and open to the public. A public reception will precede the forum at 6:30 p.m. For details, go to