Political group heats up
The 2012 Presidential Election is one heated race. But how much heat can you handle? Georgia College’s American Democracy Project (ADP) wants to know.
Georgia College Professor Gregg Kaufman, the group’s coordinator, says the nonpartisan ADP, which began in 2003, is an initiative to prepare the next generation to be informed and involved in its community by voting and changing policies.
“Politics is about making the community a better place for all,” Kaufman said.
His goal with the ADP is to “network across the Georgia College campus to identify how involved we are in Milledgeville’s community life.”
The ADP isn’t successful without student involvement, however, and Kaufman has created a clever way for students to find out just how involved they are.
The first way to find out is every Wednesday at noon on the second floor of the LITC. The ADP hosts a weekly, student-led discussion series called Times Talk with such topics as Chick-Fil-A, substance abuse prevention and debriefing the presidential debates.
As coordinator, Kaufman created a level scale that correlates with student involvement in the ADP and uses a delicious metaphor to make it relevant to college students: the hot wing. According to this scale, attending a Times Talk is the same as eating a mild-sweet honey hot wing – the first level on the scale. The more you do with the ADP, the higher you go up the level scale – the hotter the hot wing you become.
To move up on the scale, the organization hosted a viewing of the four presidential election debates. Students were invited to Front Campus to watch the debate and socialize with other students.
Participating in a Campus Forum is another way to move along the scale. The current ADP forum, Shaping Our Future, deals with the question of “How should higher education help us create the society we want?”
Student members of the ADP lead the forums, which deal with discussing the three different approaches that have been created to answering this question for the best course of action for the Milledgeville community.
By getting together and discussing these issues under the umbrella of the original question, the group hopes the citizens of Milledgeville will become more engaged with the future of their community while having GC students lead their deliberations. Having these forums and other citizen engaging events seems to be a popularly supported idea.
“The forum is a good idea. Informing the public on political issues is good and necessary to get (citizens) involved in the process so they know they can actually make a difference,” Rebekah Bradford, junior exercise science major said.
Sophomore criminal justice and computer science major David Dietz believes that educating the Milledgeville community on political candidates and policies of how they can help better the community is necessary and beneficial. “The community would greatly benefit from having all of that information,” he said.
Contact Kaufman at Gregg.email@example.com to receive more information about becoming a member of ADP. Those interested in re-creating the RSO are on track to reach the highest level of the hot wing scale – a smokin’ hot-crushed red pepper wing.