The Diversity Educators Program at ETSU will be hosting an event to educate students about diversity in politics.
“The purpose of the event is to give students information about primarily the Republican and Democratic parties, but we’ve been realizing in the course of our session that a lot of times, students don’t exactly know what views or beliefs are represented by the different parties,” and so being that this is the election year, we’re really hoping to primarily offer information,” Rachel Vineyard, Coordinator of Diversity Educators, said.
“We’re not trying to have students pick a side necessarily or state their opinions or beliefs, but it’s mostly just for them to ask questions and to help them identify where they are on the political spectrum.”
There will be several prominent speakers at the event, which is being held in the D.P. Culp Center Ballroom from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m on Feb. 10.
“The event will be opened by Dr. Noland, who will talk about the importance of voting and why it matters as a college students to be engaged in politics,” Vineyard said.
Vineyard has also arranged for the Republican and Democratic representatives from the area to come and speak to students.
The two political party representatives will present information about the history of the party and some of the core values and beliefs for each one.
“Afterwards, participants will have a time of dialogue so the students can ask questions if they want, and Diversity Educators will be facilitating that conversation,” Vineyard said. “Then we’ll do an activity to help students navigate where they are on the spectrum.”
Vineyard also said that they’ll be exploring the Constitution Party and the Green Party along with the Democratic and Republican.
“We’re going to break up in small groups and just kind of facilitate conversation on what it means to identify with one of those places and kind of give some background information on the candidates in this year’s election,” Vineyard said.
Diversity Educators hopes that the event will inspire students to become politically involved.
“Primarily, I think it’s important because we represent this huge population, and if we are active and participating in this election, we are going to be the people who are receiving a lot of the benefits and also the drawbacks of whoever wins,” Vineyard said.
Because of these consequences, Vineyard feels that political education is essential and important to college students.
“I think a lot of times, college students in particular think that their voice doesn’t count, or their voice is not going to be heard, and that’s not true,” Vineyard said. “We all have a voice; it’s just finding a way to engage in dialogue about how to go about voting.”