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  September 20, 2004

Events Planned To Encourage
Participation In November Election

The University will sponsor two days of activities this week intended to encourage students and other members of the University community to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

The events, free and open to the public, will take place on September 22 and 23 and will include panels on topics such as terrorism, the economy, polling, war, and how the media cover elections. The panels will involve UConn faculty members and alumni and other experts.

Also featured will be a debate between Republican Angela 'Bay' Buchanan and Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend on Wednesday, September 22, at 8 p.m.; and an evening with MTV's Rock the Vote and two members of the cast of the network's Road Rules show on Thursday, September 23, at 7 p.m. Both events will take place in the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.

The sessions were planned by a committee of faculty, staff, and students, after University President Philip E. Austin called on the community last spring to encourage students to become engaged in the political process.

"I don't believe it is our role as educators to tell students what to think or how to vote," Austin said at the time. "It is, instead, to help them utilize analytical and research skills to make their own choices."

Austin said he hopes students will exercise their right to vote in the upcoming election. "I do think it's appropriate to encourage students at all levels and in all fields to think seriously about the political process and to engage actively in the national debate.

A lively debate is expected between Buchanan and Townsend. Buchanan, a Republican, is the former treasurer of the United States, a political commentator for CNN's Inside Politics, and president of The American Cause, an educational foundation that seeks to advance conservative issues. She is an adjunct professor of political communication at George Mason University, and a veteran of six presidential campaigns.

Townsend, a Democrat, was Maryland's first female lieutenant governor and is a child advocate. She is a former deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice; founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, named for her father; and a member of the board of directors of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. She is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's School of Public Policy.

The panels include:

On Wednesday, September 22, in the North Reading Room, Wilbur Cross Building:
10-11:30 a.m.
How the Media Cover the Election

Moderator: Ken Dautrich, associate professor of public policy
Panelists: Tom Monahan, chief political correspondent for NBC-30 News
Duby McDowell, principal of the Global Strategy Group
Mickey Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute

1:30-3 p.m.
Election Polling: What the Polls Can and Can't Show Us

Moderator: Sam Best, associate professor of public policy
Panelists: Sarah Dutton, deputy director of CBS News Election Surveys
Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University Poll
Monika McDermott, assistant professor of public policy

3-4:30 p.m.
War, Terrorism, and Globalization: Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next Four Years

Moderator: Jennifer Sterling-Folker, associate professor of political science
Panelists: Maria Elisabetta de Franciscis, researcher at the University of Naples and a UConn Ph.D. graduate
Betty Hanson, professor of political science
Jeremy Pressman, assistant professor of political science

On Thursday, September 23, in Konover Auditorium at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center:

Jobs, Growth, and Economic Progress: What Every Voter Needs to Know

Moderator: Kathleen Segerson, professor of economics
Panelists: Francis Ahking, associate professor of economics
Peter Gioia, chief economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association and a UConn alumnus
Arthur Wright, emeritus professor of economics

1:30-3 p.m.
The U.S.A. Patriot Act: Threat to Civil Liberties or Necessary for Our Security?

Moderator: Jeffrey Dudas, professor of political science
Panelists: The Hon. Kevin O'Connor, U.S. Attorney, Connecticut, Law School alumnus, and adjunct faculty member
Jeremy Paul, professor of law
Michael Young, art and design librarian and adjunct professor
Peter Murray, assistant to the director for technology initiatives, University Libraries