Town Hall stimulates discourse on society

Megan Bowser

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Professors and students filled the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium last Thursday to participate in a biannual Chico State Town Hall Meeting.

The meeting, a student forum for discussion of important societal issues, is put on by the First-Year Experience Program, the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Students who are taking a 100-level political science course on American government had to work on assignments throughout the semester on a specific topic.

The students discussed many different topics of public interest, including human trafficking and voting rights. To the programs that hosted the event and the professors who worked to put it on, the Town Hall Meeting is more than a class assignment.

The event is meant to prepare students for future discussion and involvement in policy issues and social change, said Ellie Ertle, a faculty coordinator of the Town Hall Meeting.

“We are hoping for a couple of things,” Ertle said. “One, that students see themselves as members of their community and are able to make social change when they feel like they want to. And two, that they gain tools for their toolbox, if you will.”

The event began in the BMU with opening remarks from faculty coordinators, a student representative and Belle Wei, the provost and vice president for academic affairs. Students then broke up into groups.

They discussed their topic with other students and a moderator. Students were encouraged to discuss solutions to problems they spent the semester researching.

The event helped develop a sense of community for participants, said Joseph Bruce, a freshman political science major.

“I took away a great amount of information on my topic, as well as an energizing sense of community,” Bruce said.

 

Megan Bowser can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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