3 Nov

Election Day Tomorrow.. and Watch Party

Jason | November 3rd, 2008

Engage 08 has been a great success. From Judy Woodruff’s visit to the get out the vote efforts being organized by campus groups, the University has been energized and engaged in this historic election.

Tomorrow is Election Day.. If you haven’t voted early, go vote tomorrow. And be sure to stop by the Mountainlair for the Engage 08 Watch Party kicking off at 7 p.m. Snacks will be provided… Wear your candidates button and come watch the results roll in!

10 Oct

Judy Woodruff to Headline Engage 08

Jason | October 10th, 2008

I’m very pleased to announce that Judy Woodruff will be headling Engage 08 next Thursday evening during a presentation here on campus.

SGA, along with the Center for Civic Engagement, has worked diligently to lead the Engage 08 program. Much thanks to everyone who made this event with Ms. Woodruff possible. It was truly a colloborative effort between the President’s Office, Student Affairs, and others. Ms. Woodruff will add a significant voice to the ongoing conversation on campus.

Award-winning journalist Judy Woodruff to share inside look at presidential election

WVU presentation part of Engage 08 student campaign

Judy Woodruff, fresh off reporting about the economic crisis and the presidential debates, veteran broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff will visit West Virginia University Thursday (Oct. 16) to discuss the media and politics.

Woodruff, who has covered politics and news for more than three decades at PBS, CNN and NBC – including eight presidential races – will take a look at the evolution of American politics and media coverage when she speaks at 7:30 p.m. in Ming Hsieh Hall, Room G20, on the Downtown Campus. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions, and a reception will follow in the ground floor hallway.

Woodruff’s presentation, which is free and open to the public, is part of Engage 08, a unique, campuswide WVU student initiative to raise political awareness and energize young voters during this historic election year. Other Engage 08 events range from a presidential debate watch party to a Faculty Dinner Series lecture by author and WVU professor Bob DiClerico, a nationally recognized political expert. (A complete Engage 08 schedule is listed below.)

Woodruff’s talk will draw from major national and international stories and provide an inside perspective of the politics in play. Using today’s political headlines as a starting point, she will place the day’s events not only in a historical context, but also clarify what they could mean to the election’s outcome – and how that will shape and influence the country’s future.

A trusted journalist, Woodruff has covered many of the major events of the last 30 years, including the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Centennial Olympic Park bombing. She is currently a senior correspondent for PBS’ “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and is the editor of the show’s 2008 election coverage.

She also anchors a monthly program for Bloomberg Television, “Conversations with Judy Woodruff,” and she served as executive editor of “Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard.,” a documentary project that involved interviewing young Americans and reporting on their views.

For 12 years, Woodruff served as anchor and senior correspondent for CNN, anchoring the weekday political program, “Inside Politics.” Woodruff also played a central role in the network’s political coverage and other major news stories.

From 1983-93, she was the chief Washington correspondent for “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour” at PBS, and from 1984-90, she also anchored PBS’ award-winning weekly documentary series, “Frontline with Judy Woodruff.”

At NBC News, Woodruff served as White House correspondent from 1977-82. For one year after that, she served as NBC’s “Today Show” chief Washington correspondent.

Besides her work in journalism, Woodruff is the author of “This is Judy Woodruff at the White House,” and she was a visiting professor at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy – teaching a weekly seminar course on media and politics – and a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, where she led a study group for students on contemporary issues in journalism.

Woodruff is a founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging women in communication industries worldwide. She serves on the boards of trustees of the Freedom Forum and Global Rights: Partners for Justice and in 2005 became a member of The Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and the Board of the National Museum of American History. Woodruff is a graduate of Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita.

“With decades of broadcast experience and coverage of eight presidential elections, Judy Woodruff is one of the best in TV news,” said interim WVU President C. Peter Magrath. “Her experience in the press and politics provides a unique learning opportunity for our students and faculty. We are excited to welcome her to campus to share some of what she’s learned over the years as a journalist and get our students thinking in new ways about the role of journalism in our democracy.”

Student Government Association President Jason Parsons, who is leading WVU’s Engage 08 efforts, said he looks forward to hearing about her take on reporting and interaction with the Washington political scene.

“I’m very excited about this program surrounding the election,” Parsons said. “SGA has dedicated a lot of time and energy into developing this program to allow for a lively and informed discussion on the candidates and the issues surrounding the 2008 presidential election. Welcoming Judy Woodruff to campus will be a great way to cap off the program, and Ms. Woodruff, with her depth and breadth of experience in presidential politics, will add a significant voice to the dialogue on campus.”

Engage 08: Your vote. Your voice.

Engage 08, WVU’s student-driven initiative to get young people engaged in the political process, includes a series of events, Web site (http://engage08.wvu.edu/) and blog.

SGA is spearheading this effort and encouraging students to voice their opinions about the presidential and vice presidential debates and hot topics such as the economy, health care and the war in Iraq.

The site also includes a “Rock the Vote” link, which directs students to a voter registration form, and a place where students can submit what they believe is the most important question of the election.

Upcoming Engage 08 events are as follows:

Oct. 14 – Young Democrats debate, 7-9 p.m. in 202 Brooks Hall. The topic will be foreign policy. Sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Oct. 15 – Presidential debate watch party, Mountainlair food court. Sponsored by SGA.
Oct.15 – First day of early voting in West Virginia; visit www.wvsos.com for more information.
Oct. 20-Nov 1 – SGA will be offering buses to early voting polling places.
Oct. 28 – Faculty Dinner Lecture Series; Dr. Robert E. DiClerico discusses 2008 elections. Sponsored by Student Affairs. For more information, e-mail Shyla.Powell@mail.wvu.edu.
Oct. 30 – Town hall debate, 7-9 p.m. The debate will take questions from the audience as well as questions submitted by The Daily Athenaeum. Sponsored by The Daily Athenaeum.
Oct. 31-Nov 2 – Political movie series: “Recount” and “Swing Vote,” Gluck Theatre. Check the Gluck for show times.
Nov. 4 – Election watch party, 7 p.m., Mountainlair food court. Watch returns on a big TV screen.
Posters with a powerful message

The presidential election could be decided by a narrow margin, leading some to say the race could be decided by the votes of college students.

Students in WVU professor Eve Faulkes’ graphic design class created posters to encourage their peers to register to vote and educate themselves on the issues before voting.

“We actually did a lot of research anticipating the different levels of interest in the election process and anticipating how each level might be motivated to hear our message,” Faulkes said. “Each of our students invented a specific person for whom they were designing the poster. We were also careful not to make the posters for a specific party ? to pique the interest of new voters and encourage them to only trust information they found through nonpartisan sites or by listening to speeches or debates themselves.”

To view the posters, go to http://engage08.wvu.edu/Posters.

Students’ work will also be on display in the ground floor hallway of Ming Hsieh Hall on the evening of Woodruff’s presentation.

For more information about the poster exhibit, contact Faulkes at efaulkes@wvu.edu.


8 Oct

Presidential Debate Open Thread...

Jason | October 8th, 2008

Please post your comments and reaction to the first two debates between Senators Obama and McCain. What did you think of the new format? Who gained, who lost? Have the debates changed your mind? Who won? Share your thoughts…

6 Oct

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Jason | October 6th, 2008

Guest Blog entry by Erica Sladky, Campus Coordinator, WVU Students for Barack Obama

This past Wednesday, I had the opportunity of successfully organizing a bi-partisan voter registration drive on the Mountainlair Green. I am Chapter Coordinator of WVU Students for Barack Obama, and I coordinated these efforts with College Republicans, Young Democrats, and SGA.
With the registration of over 120 new voters, I have declared the event a success.
I’m sure everyone enjoyed the free pizza, the face painting, and the free Obama, McCain, and Mountain Party gear we offered. However, I hope students this year will absorb the value of their first voter registration.
This is truly an historic election. We have been at war for almost seven years. The value of the USD has plummeted against foreign currencies. Our positive standing among other countries in the world as a leader has severely been tarnished. Prices are going up, banks are collapsing, and gas prices keep climbing. We need someone who can tackle these problems affecting our nation and the world.
To the student body, whether you support Obama, McCain, or any of the independent candidates, please acknowledge the problems we are facing in our country today. Young voters usually do not pay attention to national and international issues and crises, but I encourage you to change this notion. You are being affected now by rising loan interest rates, increased difficulty in acquiring financial aid, and higher tuition prices that cannot keep up with inflation. In the future, you will be affected by high health insurance premiums, the difficulty in acquiring and paying for a home, and the uncertainty of maintaining a job.
Therefore, I encourage you to take this election seriously. I encourage you to let your voice be heard and vote for who you think has the leadership and the judgment to move our country onto the right path. Please register to vote, educate yourself on candidates’ positions, and march yourself to the polls on November 4.

1 Oct

Vice Presidential Debate Open Thread...

Jason | October 1st, 2008

Comment here on the Palin-Biden debate.

What are your expectations? How did you think the candidates performed? Who will win/won the debate and why?

1 Sep

A Defining Moment

Jason | September 1st, 2008

Every four years in the United States, we the people choose a President. And every now and again, an election comes along at a moment of great importance – a defining moment – in our history. The electorate is more divided and polarized than ever before. People are paying attention to the Obama and McCain race in a way they never have before. Just last week, I read an article saying nearly 1/3 of voters will cast their ballots before Election Day – as a result of no-excuse and early voting provisions in many states. So, the election process is changing. Blogs such as these, the ability to donate money to campaigns online, and a 24 hour news cycle have contributed to what very well could be the largest voter turnout in history.

Not to mention the issues facing the country. The war in Iraq, the economy, healthcare, and all of the important issues that define our lives in some regards – and matter deeply to us.

This election is one of those defining moments. On campus, we’re making a committment to have a dicussion on the issues defining this election – and that will define our future. Through Engage 08, we are planning a series of events to broaden our sense of the issues, our passion for our candidates, and to provide useful education tools on the election process, the Democratic and Republican Parties, and the candidates.

Be sure to check out the events – and join us for some talk about the issues, to cheer on our candidates, and to hear from some prominent voices – from WVU’s own Dr. Robert DiClerico, a nationally recognized expert on the American Presidency to a nationally known speaker we’ll be announcing shortly.

Register to vote before October 5th and drop it off at the SGA Office in the Mountainlair and we’ll mail it for you. Or you can mail it yourself.

Check back often to add your voice to the conversation in our blogs and join the discussion on the important issues. Join the Young Democrats, College Republicans or a group of your choice. Contact the Center for Civic Engagement to explore ways to get involved. But, above all, become engaged. Take an active role in our future.

If we do, we can make a difference on campus – and in this historical election.

Let your voices be heard – and take part in this historic race.

Jason Parsons
Student Body President