GSU to host political experts at Hanner

Chyna James and Marquietta Green

Journalists Mara Liasson, Ted Koppel and Eugene Robinson will be leading a panel about the upcoming U.S. Presidential election on March 23 at 7:00 p.m. in Hanner Fieldhouse.

The three speakers will educate students and guests on current political moods and opinions for successful voting.

The event’s sponsor, Jody Kennedy, Associate Director of the Leadership and Community Engagement Office, is very hopeful about the event.

“We are very excited about the Leadership Lecture Series event because it is something different than our past events. We are currently in the midst of an exciting election year, and we are hoping the panel we have put together will educate students and guests on our current political climate,” Kennedy said. “These events are important to expose our community to different thoughts, ideas, and opinions. From a journalist’s perspective, our panel of speakers have been through a number of world events and we can easily learn from their leadership experiences.”

A long time editor for the Washington Post, Robinson, has been recognized for his storytelling ability, according to the Washington Speakers Bureau. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his commentary on the 2008 presidential race that resulted in the election of America’s first African-American president. He is currently part of the Pulitzer Prize Board, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and an inductee of the NABJ Hall of Fame.

Liaason is the national political correspondent for NPR and contributor to FOX News Channel, according to the Washington Speakers Bureau. She serves as a panelist on Special Report with Brett Bair and FOX News Sunday, a public affair program that airs nationwide every Sunday Morning. She has won many awards for her reporting, including the White House Correspondents’ “Association Merriman Smith Award” in 1994, 1995 and 1997.

Koppel, the longest serving news anchor in U.S. broadcast history, according to the Washington Speakers Bureau, has covered many events such as Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964 and Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign in 1968. He has been awarded several times throughout his career.

Todd Deal, Ph.D., Executive Director and Leadership Studies professor, feels like it’s important for students to listen to these speakers because of how interesting this presidential election has been.

“We want students to walk away from the event with thoughts to consider and opinions to critically assess to allow them to vote as informed citizens,” Deal said. “The three panelist have been deeply involved in presidential campaigns and covering politics for many years. Their current perspective on the presidential race is expected to provide a unique insight for students to consider as they prepare to go to the vote in the 2016 elections.”

Some students hold strong opinions about the event and feel the university should be talking about other issues affecting students rather than the elections.

“We should be talking about more current issues that are more important like guns on campus,” Major Woodall, President of Georgia’s chapter of the NAACP Youth & College Division and political science major, said.

Although some students disagree with the event, others feel it’s important to be exposed to other political views for the upcoming elections.

“I do plan to attend the event and I hope to gain a lot of information from the speakers about many political views not just in Statesboro, but in other areas as well,” Ashley Brown, sophomore writing and logistics major, said.

Tickets are required and will be available for distribution starting on Feb. 29 through March 8 for students. Faculty and staff ticket pick-up will be March 3 through March 8. While the community can pick-up tickets on March 7 and March 8 at the Hanner Fieldhouse box office from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Faculty, staff, and students will need to present their Eagle ID at the time of ticket pick-up at the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement in the Russell Union room 1056 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will be free and open to the public.