IU’s Franklin Hall will be ‘election central’ Tuesday night

Planning to stay home and cower under the bed on election night? Here’s a better idea: Join IU Bloomington students, faculty and staff to watch election returns at Franklin Hall.

The Franklin Hall commons will be “election central” on the evening of Nov. 8, with its 24-by-12-foot TV screen tuned to election coverage starting at 4 p.m. Three panels of faculty and graduate student experts will provide commentary and analysis.

The Franklin Hall video screen will show election returns Tuesday night.

The Franklin Hall video screen will show election returns Tuesday night.

The Media School and the Department of Political Science are hosting the event, which grew out of efforts by students to be engaged in the 2016 elections. Those efforts have proceeded under the umbrella of the All In Campus Democracy Challenge, which seeks to promote civic engagement and boost student voting.

Bernard Fraga, an assistant professor of political science and a member of the campus’s All In Campus Democracy Challenge task force, said undergraduates had been working with IU political scientist Marjorie Hershey to organize an election night watch party.

“The Media School was interested in doing a similar event with a more academic focus,” he said. “We kind of combined forces, and The Media School really took charge.”

Panel discussions will include:

  • 5 p.m., a discussion of media coverage of the election with associate professor Julia Fox, assistant professor Jason Peifer and graduate student Edo Steinberg, all of The Media School, and Hershey from the political science department. Fraga will moderate.
  • 6:15 p.m., international perspectives on the election with assistant professor Julien Mailland and doctoral students Diana Sokolova of The Media School and Argentina-based political analyst Sergio Berensztein. Elaine Monaghan, professor of practice in The Media School, will moderate.
  • 7:20 p.m., ethics and norms of political journalism with Monaghan, Media School assistant professor Nick Browning and associate professor Mike Conway and undergraduate Sara Zaheer. Doctoral student Kyle Heatherly will moderate.

Election results should start appearing around 8 p.m., if previous presidential elections are a guide, Fraga said. Indiana’s polls are the first in the nation to close at 6 p.m. EST.

The Franklin Hall panel discussions will be live streamed on the Media School’s Facebook page, and public TV station WTIU will broadcast from the site. The Media School will live-tweet the events at @IUMediaSchool using the hashtag #MediaSchoolElectionNight.

IU Bloomington launched its participation in the nationwide All In Campus Democracy Challenge in August. Student groups including the Political and Civic Engagement Program, the IU Student Association and the Political Science Club have been leading the effort, which included voter registration drives and weekly walk-to-vote celebrations.

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