Leading Stories

by Ashlyn Adams, Staff Writer

Campus Conversations, a dialogue series currently held on the second Wednesday of every month in the UWF Commons, was led by UWF’s Dr. Michelle Williams and tackled issues such as falling voter rates and civic engagement as we approach the 2020 election year.

Williams, who heads the Reubin O’D. Askew Department of Government at UWF and is a professor of political science, was happy to answer questions by the students and colleagues in attendance, and she made it clear that involvement in politics doesn’t require extensive knowledge.

“I hope that by the time you walk out today, you might be reconsidering the way you feel about politics,” Williams said. “Maybe think a bit more about the role you could play in politics, especially this election season.”

Campus Conversations was held from 12 to 1 p.m., and pizza was provided for lunch. The event, which was completely free, provided a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for those interested in attending.

Throughout the conversation, Williams covered a variety of talking points, such as the polarization in the two-party system, why Americans aren’t voting, the electoral college, emotion-driven campaign ads and self-interest in modern America. 

Although she covered a broad range of topics in only one hour, Williams managed to maintain an engaging and timely conversation that was neither too dense nor too vague. In the end, Williams had one overall message for her attendees, and it was the importance of voting. 

Williams also suggested attending events hosted by the League of Women Voters, a group dedicated to educating people on current election issues in a non-partisan manner. Participants can enjoy a relaxed, conversational environment while learning about what’s happening in American politics. 

Campus Conversations is hosted monthly by the Office of Equity and Diversity, and has covered a wide range of topics from students and professors. Conversations have included LGBTQ in healthcare and an international student panel. 

Floré Septimus, Diversity Programs Coordinator for UWF, spoke about her hopes of seeing Campus Conversations grow. 

“Usually we get about 12 to 20 people each time,” Septimus said. “We want to increase that to hopefully 30 or 40 people, but we think we’re at a great starting point.” 

The event offers free food, inviting conversation and a chance to learn something new. Keep your eyes open, Argos, and next month you can join the conversation.

Photo courtesy of UWF Institutional Communications.