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College Is Election Central for 2016 Campaign Season

At the best of times, understanding all the implications and intentions around an election can be daunting. By most estimations, this has been an unusual, unprecedented, and unpredictable presidential campaign. Luckily, here at the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, we have the resources to pick through the confusion and make some sense of it all. We are functioning this fall as an Election Central for the university and Tallahassee communities, thanks to the expertise of our faculty in a wide range of disciplines and the respected guests we’re bringing in to discuss various aspects of the campaign season.

COSSPP faculty members are frequently called upon by media throughout the country and asked to speak at various programs, such as the university’s Faculty Lunch Series and the Tallahassee Village Square forum, to share their insights on the election.

Over the next six weeks, the college is sponsoring several events that address the current political scene from a number of perspectives. Faculty from the political science and sociology departments and the Claude Pepper Center will share their insights with the public in our fun new monthly Policy Pub series. Guest speakers throughout October include a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a noted political analyst and frequent media commentator, and a health policy expert.

“The college is uniquely situated to provide information and opportunities for open discussion on every aspect of this election,” said Interim Dean Tim Chapin. “Our faculty and students work together on issues of the economy, public health, the environment, politics, public policy, and more that affect everyone’s lives day to day. This is an exciting line-up of activities that anyone in the Tallahassee area can tap into for better understanding of the people and decisions that impact us all.”

At a glance, here are the election-related events – all of them free and open to the public. For more information about each one, click on the link.

- September 13: Policy Pub featuring Carol Weissert, director of the Leroy Collins Institute and professor of political science - “How Did We Get Here? Where Are We Headed?” 5:30-6:30 pm, Backwoods Bistro, 401 E. Tennessee St., at Gadsden Link

- October 7: Annual Joe Cresse Lecture and Panel Discussion featuring Pulitzer-winning journalist Cynthia Tucker, formerly of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Panel: "Economics, Demographics, Elites: Why Are Voters So Angry?" 150 Bellamy Building, 10:05-11:15 a.m. Lecture: "Diversity, Demographics and the Age of Donald Trump” College of Law Rotunda, 3:00-4:15 p.m. Link

- October 11: Faculty Luncheon Series presents Leroy Collins Institute Director Carol Weissert, "Making Sense of the 2016 Election.” Presbyterian University Center, 548 W. Park Ave. at Copeland, 12:15-1:30 p.m. Link

- October 13: Anderson-Ashby Lectureship in Public Policy Journalism – Susan MacManus “2016: An Election Like No Other” 2004 William Johnston Building, 7:00 p.m. Florida State University alumnus Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida (USF) and the state’s most quoted political analyst and media commentator on elections and campaigns, shares her considerable expertise with the university community and general public in an upcoming talk focusing on how reaching voters has changed significantly in today’s high-tech world where personalities often "trump" policies. Link

- October 18: Policy Pub featuring Political Science Professors Brad Gomez and Bob Jackson – “Why Do We Vote?” Voter behavior, expectations, and motivation and how campaigns use them. 5:30-6:30 pm, Backwoods Bistro, 401 E. Tennessee St., at Gadsden Link

- October 27: Claude Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy presents Jonathan Oberlander, University of North Carolina – “Health Care Reform and the 2016 Elections: What Happens to Obamacare After Obama?” 10:30 a.m. Broad Auditorium at the Pepper Center, 636 West Call St. Link

- November 15: Policy Pub featuring Sociology Professor Deana Rohlinger and Pepper Center Director Larry Polivka – “It’s Over! What Now?” 5:30-6:30 pm, Backwoods Bistro, 401 E. Tennessee St., at Gadsden Link

The college’s Policy Pub series launched in September and drew a packed crowd to eat, drink, and chat policy. Policy Pub takes place on select Tuesday evenings, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at Backwoods Bistro, a popular restaurant and bar on East Tennessee Street at Gadsden. The informal setting allows people to sit at tables, order from the Bistro menu, hear a presentation of about 15-20 minutes, then ask questions and talk about the night’s topic. For more on Policy Pub, visit this page.


(From left:) Cynthia Tucker and Cresse Panel, Policy Pub, Susan MacManus lecture