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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students ‘do’ democracy

    Krishna Israni, a pre-physiology freshman, argues yesterday that amnesty is the solution to U.S. immigration issues in the Modern Languages building. The conference, Doing Democracy was put on by English 102 classes and continues through today.
    Krishna Israni, a pre-physiology freshman, argues yesterday that amnesty is the solution to U.S. immigration issues in the Modern Languages building. The conference, ‘Doing Democracy’ was put on by English 102 classes and continues through today.

    Students in English 102 classes are being offered the chance to show off their debating skills with the public forum “”Doing Democracy.””

    The event, which began yesterday, is a two-day open forum where student groups are asked to present arguments they have been working on throughout the year to a room of people in order to evoke open discussion.

    “”It’s more interactive way to do a research paper, which is normally only between them and the teacher,”” said Faith Kurtyka, an English 102 instructor.

    Kurtyka said students present in front of other English 102 students, as well as show a multimedia presentation.

    On the first day of events, 19 groups discussed issues under the topics of national concerns, perspectives on immigration; ethical and political concerns; race, class and justice; conceptions of public and private in institutional spaces; and ethical considerations and positions.

    Similar forums will occur tonight from 6 to 8 in the Psychology building in Rooms 205, 206 and 207.

    Information will be available beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Psychology building courtyard.

    Michael Catlaw, a political science sophomore who spoke about the Iraq war with his group, said he believes events like this are beneficial because they allow students to broaden their horizons when it comes to presenting research.

    “”It definitely gives kids a broad perspective, which is different than what you generally do in English class,”” Catlaw said.

    Thomas Wilson, a vocal performance freshman, gave a speech, “”Terrorizing a ‘Terrorist’: The Executive Hypocrisy,”” and said students need to participate in events like these.

    “”It’s beneficial to everyone because it forces people to look into issues that are more global than what they get in school,”” Wilson said. “”With a voter outcome as low as we have, I think it just shows that people aren’t really aware or that they don’t understand what’s happening around us and how to change it.””

    Wilson said people should be open-minded so they can learn about opposing sides of a controversy, which can also challenge one’s point of view.

    The forum, which was held for the first time this year, was hosted in three separate rooms with different topics each hour that were monitored by faculty.

    “”This is the first time it’s happened but we’re hoping to do it every year from now on,”” Kurtyka said. “”If anyone is interested in talking about public events, even listening to other people talk about public events, or if they are wondering what issues are coming up in the election, they should come for the second day.””

    After the debate, students agreed that they felt more informed.

    “”Things like this are essential,”” Wilson said. “”One of the most important things for people to do in this country is to stay informed. We are supposed to be the pinnacle of democracy and fairness and we aren’t sometimes.””

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