On Tuesday, February 2nd, a potential lecture turned into a frank discussion about politics as professor Marc Flacks talked to attending students about the most recent presidential election and its DW: There is no apostrophe, unless you mean that ‘its’ as ‘it is,’ which would make no sense. seemingly record-breaking voter youth turnout. Though prepared to simply talk at his audience, he took questions and fielded various concerns as given from the attending cross-section of the campus population, and he left on an over-arching message of semi-ambitious optimism and hope against disillusionment.
Audience participation was strong, friendly, yet reserved early on but warmed as the event progressed and the lecture became a dialogue covering many facets of the political landscape. Observation about family and events in party affiliation were discussed, if not the reasons for differing outcomes.
Students raised concerns that the exceptionally high voter turnout was merely a trend, or even a one-time result of the early primary process, a topic the professor was happy to expand upon by citing studies done in previous elections seeking to explain why youth voter turnout has always been so historically low.
A discussion about whether or not student voters felt qualified to vote turned into an interchange regarding concerns about credible political information sources, which turned into a pseudo-philosophical discussion about the differences between politics, the truth, personal truth, and factual truth.
Eventually the event steered towards concerns about the future, namely the risk of disillusionment amongst the potentially empowered youth voter when faced with the potentially dissappointing realities of compromise in politics, and possible strategies to keep younger people engaged. The bland way in which politics is broached in high school was discussed, as well as a desire to see it taught more passionately, and perhaps to see a better way to teach students as young as high-school on what it actually means to vote. That, in turn, was rebuffed by an older attendee-student who expressed her concerns regarding teaching politics to minors and the loss of control she would experience as a parent and formation of her children’s possible political views.
With such spirited and frank intellectual conversation, the event was a smashing success and gives a good first glimpse of future events put together by Professor Neelam Canto-Lugo and her volunteer assistants.
For more information and helpful hints on potential activism visit: