Tarleton faculty to host panel discussion over 2016 election


Via tarleton.edu

Kristen Bowman, Contributor

Tonight, Tarleton State University will host a panel discussion over the presidential election from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Theater. During this talk, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to come hear important information on what changes are to be expected in the college domain.

“Each professor will speak for a few minutes about their take-away from the elections and what impact they may have for Tarleton and the country (based on their areas of expertise),” explained Dr. Michael Landis, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences, who will be moderating the event.

There will be five main speakers at the event and each one will be covering a different topic.

Dr. Malcom Cross, Professor of Social Sciences, will be discussing the political parties and the changes that occurred within the parties. Cross will also talk about the strategies that Clinton and Trump used and how Trump’s strategies lead to victory and how Clinton’s lead to defeat.

Dr. Ebony Hall, Assistant Professor of Social Work, will be covering the topics of race and diversity. She will speak about the importance of looking through an “equality lens” to improve the relationships between races on the national, state, and university levels. In addition, Hall will talk about the tension that has built up over span of the election.

“Through various social media outlets, this election cycle has visually exposed decades of false notions of equal opportunity and fair treatment,” explained Hall.

Hall stated that all people have a racial and ethnic identity that matters, so everyone should be part of the conversation. Furthermore, some people have to be more intentional than others to become aware of the conversation.

Finally, Hall will be observant of the words and actions that come from Trump, like she has been for all presidents before.

Another speaker will be Dr. Ann Calahan, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, who will be talking about education. Dr. Jenen Branscombe, Assistant Professor of Social Sciences, will be talking about immigration and the LGTBQ community. Rounding out the panel is Dr. Jesus Velasco, Professor of Social Sciences, who will be discussing the international perspective.

Overall, this gathering will be beneficial for not only students, but faculty, staff and the community. However, Landis insists that this is not a time for inappropriate behavior.

“I feel it’s important to keep the discussion grounded and productive; emotions and passion are good, but we can’t let things get out of hand,” Landis said. “We want students to voice their concerns, ask questions, etc.  For some, this might be the only time they can get advice from experts on issues that matter to them.”

This discussion will help those who have insecurity about the in coming president. While all problems will not be solved, education on the subject is one of the best tools for people to have.