University Student Union Productions is planning to host a series of political talks prior to the November elections.
Last week, the USU hosted a talk by California State Senator Michael Rubio in the Free Speech Area, which drew a crowd of students. He discussed different topics such as Proposition 30, prison spending and education. Now USU Productions hopes to open up the talks in a panel-based discussion.
The panel is sponsored by The Point, a committee involved in USU Productions, and is designed to help students uncover the importance of the upcoming election as well as give the perspective of some distinguished professionals.
Issues will include topics that involve the Central Valley and the state of California.
The panel hopes to have at least two local and statewide political figure; which could include California State Assembly members David Valdadao and Linda Halderman, as well as local figures such as KMPH news personality Rich Rodriguez.
Both Halderman, who is part of the 29 assembly district, and Valdadao, who is part of the 30 assembly district, are involved in Central Valley issues and look to serve the Valley as they see best.
Bianca Maglalang, who is part of the USU Production’s public relations department, and a student at Fresno State, said that the political discussion are a way for students to better understand some of the issues that will be in the upcoming elections.
“This event will be a great open forum for students to have their voice heard and questions answered,” Maglalang said. “This event is a great way for the student body to come together and understand what political issues our nation faces.”
The panel will consist of a brief introduction from the USU representative and followed up by a brief self-introduction of each member of the panel.
Following the introduction there will be a 40-minute orchestrated panel discussion and a 10-minute Q-and-A session where students can get involved in a dialogue with the members of the panel.
Possible topics at the discussion will include propositions 30 and 32, education and the Central Valley water issue. Students are also encouraged to bring other topics they feel are significant to the discussion
Maglalang said that the panel would help students like herself better understand the political issues before voting.
“I think this event would be a great opportunity for students to attend,” Magalang said. “As a student myself, I know a lot of us are unsure of what is to come during the this year’s presidential election. I am curious myself when it comes to politics. Having a panel to discuss and answer my questions will help me and other students decide on who to vote for in November.”
Justin West, a junior kinesiology major, thinks that it is important for the campus to host these events and for students to get involved.
“This will be the first time a lot students will have a opportunity to vote for the president and I think it is important that the school hosts discussions and allows access to this information,” West said. “We are at an important crossroads for our country. The more we know about the issues the more informed we will be to make educated decisions.”
The discussion will be held at the Satellite Student Union at 2 p.m. on Oct. 23 and is free for all students. The time is tentative but students are encouraged to get there early.
For more information about the panel, visit USU Productions online at www.fresnostate.edu/USU or on Facebook and Twitter.