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Town and Gown series at Union to focus on presidential election

Union's upcoming Town and Gown series will focus on the 2004 presidential elections.
Union's upcoming Town and Gown series will focus on the 2004 presidential elections.

JACKSON, Tenn.Sept. 28, 2004 – Union students and the Jackson community will soon be given an opportunity to better understand pertinent political issues.

Town and Gown, a special series on the 2004 presidential elections, will be offered at Union. This informative series is available to the public and to students for free beginning Monday, Oct. 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Harvey Hall of the Student Union Building. The concluding Nov. 1 class will meet in the G. M. Savage Memorial Chapel in Penick Academic Complex.

“Less than half the people vote and of those who do vote, most of them are not making a clearly informed choice,” said Sean Evans, assistant professor of political science at Union University and coordinator of the Town and Gown election series. “What I am trying to do is set up a system so they can get enough information that they can make an informed decision.”

The format of the series will include discussion of weekly events and the current presidential campaign, lecture and dialogue with experts on key issues, and discussion on a book by Steven Wayne titled, Is This Any Way to Run a Democratic Election?

Issues such as foreign policy, economics, health care, family, education, budgets and entitlements will be discussed throughout the course of the series. Each expert will analyze the week’s issue and discuss the causes and solutions for the issue. The expert will also provide any strengths or weaknesses regarding the solutions.

“We want to give you the background you don’t see in the 30-second sound byte on the evening news,” said Kevin Cooney, political science associate professor and foreign policy expert for the series. “We hope people take away a better awareness of the world around them and are better equipped with the tools to know about the world and events going on around them.”

One of the goals of the class is to help voters grasp how Bush or Kerry would implement solutions to certain political issues during his presidency. Learning how to determine how Bush or Kerry would react to issues will help in making an informed decision when voting at the polls.

“Union is a part of the community,” Evans said. “We have certain expertise, and we should not keep it in ivory towers. We should be actively letting people know about these kinds of issues. It helps stimulate debate.”

Experts and topics for the series are as follows:

For more information about the Election Town and Gown series, please contact Dr. Evans at (731) 661-5237.

By Jenny Eastman, '05

Media contact: Tabitha Frizzell, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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