Political lecture series promotes awareness
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
In order to encourage student participation in politics, Student Government Association will be holding the UTEP Picks Election 2012 series and presentations at the library until Election Day Nov. 6.
“This is really great, especially with freshman and sophomores who don’t really pay much attention to politics,” said Martin Chavarin, freshman engineering major. “This would show them what is really going on and what it’s all about.”
Presentations will be given by multiple departments including the Political Science Department and the Communications Department.
The events will be held in the basement level of the library in the Jane Weinert Blumberg auditorium. The first presentation will be on Sept. 4 but will carry through all the way to Election Day.
The lectures and presentations will deliver information on the process of voting and will show students how to get involved within the community.
“This is to generate enthusiasm around getting involved in the community,” said Corey Bailey, director of the Student Development Center. “This could be like someone working as a poll worker, or a group of students like an organization that could work with local congressmen, it could be anything related to the election.”
Some of the professional speakers include Jonathan Zimmerman, emeritus professor of history at New York University, Richard Pineda, associate professor of communication at UTEP and Ray Rojas, chicano studies lecturer at UTEP.
Some students said they believe these lectures could serve to inform the student population.
“Many don’t have the initiative to go out and inform themselves by their own means, so by involving the academic environment, we could only hope that this would improve the outcome of the powerful voices that college students do indeed have,” said Evelyn Orona, junior biological sciences major. “It’s an approach I myself would definitely take advantage of.”
Oneida Vasquez, freshman nursing major, shares a similar opinion to Orona.
“I would definitely go mainly because it is a subject that interests me,” she said. “I think it’s a good idea to inform ourselves with other people’s ideas.”
According to Bailey, UTEP Picks Election 2012 will not just be lectures but also a full tour-guided exhibition.
According to Bailey, the exhibition contains political buttons from the 1880s to the most recent 2008 election. From the 1970s onwards, the political buttons are encased by individual years.
“The UTEP Picks programming is a way to feature the fascinating political button collection housed in the library and bring it to life for our students and community by putting attendees in a room together with speakers who have a wide range of experience, thoughts and perspectives on politics,” said Louie Rodriguez, assistant to the vice president of student affairs.
“I wouldn’t mind seeing the button display because it gives me a sense of pride of being an American citizen,” said Victoria Astorga, freshman general studies major.
Another feature of the UTEP Picks Election 2012 will be a reading of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17 by Gregory Rocha, associate professor of political science.
“That’s Constitution day, some of his discussion will be related to the constitution itself, prior to the reading,” Bailey said.
When it comes to Election Day, students can also view the results through two or three viewing sites. According to Bailey, the student union, library and possibly Miner Village will be the locations where students and faculty can meet together to see the results.
The UTEP Picks 2012 Election link and program list can be found on the UTEP Library website, libraryweb.utep.edu. The list contains all of the presentations with the according times, presenters and subjects. Any changes and additions made to the presentations will be posted.
Marilyn Aleman may be reached at email@example.com.