Election series to feature party officials, IU politics experts

A series of election-related programs aimed at helping IU Bloomington students and others learn about the November 2016 election gets underway next week with a discussion featuring Indiana Democratic and Republican party representatives.

John Zody

John Zody

John Zody, chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, and Tim Berry, former chair of the Indiana Republican Party, will share a stage from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Activities Room of Briscoe Residence Center. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Zody, who lives in Bloomington, got involved with politics as an IU student. He was elected Indiana Democratic chair in March 2013. Before that, he served as Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic political director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Berry, a Fort Wayne native who lives in Indianapolis, stepped down as Republican chairman in March 2015. He served two terms as Indiana’s elected state treasurer and was in his second term as state auditor when Gov. Mike Pence selected him to become state party chairman in July 2013.

Tim Berry

Tim Berry

The nonpartisan IU election series is sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Political and Civic Engagement program, known as PACE, and the Civic Leaders Center. It is part of IU Bloomington’s participation in the All In Campus Democracy Challenge, a nationwide initiative aimed at increasing civic engagement and voting by college students.

Marjorie Hershey, professor of political science and coordinator of the series, said several groups were planning election-related programming and decided to join forces for a single series. Scheduled events include:

  • 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 19, location to be determined – A discussion on the 2016 elections featuring IU politics experts. Panelists will include Hershey; Paul Helmke, professor of practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, director of the Civic Leaders Center and former mayor of Fort Wayne; Leslie Lenkowsky, professor emeritus in SPEA; and Jill Long Thompson, visiting clinical associate in the Kelley School of Business and former U.S. congresswoman.
  • 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 4, Maurer School of Law Moot Court Room – “Voting and Power,” a Hot Topics discussion sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. Panelists will be Hershey; Bernard Fraga, assistant professor of political science; and Luis Fuentes-Rohwer, professor of law and the Harry T. Ice Fellow in the Maurer School of Law. Steve Sanders, associate professor of law, will moderate.
  • 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1, location to be determined – “Issues in the Presidential Election” discussion with IU Bloomington political scientists and other experts.

Also planned are a Nov. 8 election-night returns-watching party with refreshments, sponsored by the political science department and its undergraduate advisory board, the Political Science Club, PACE, the Civic Leaders Center and The Media School, and an election follow-up panel discussion Nov. 15.

The All In Campus Democracy Challenge also includes nonpartisan efforts to help students register and vote, with a goal of boosting student voter turnout to at least 50 percent. Along with panel discussions and forums, events will include an Oct. 12 kickoff party for IU Bloomington’s participation in the Walk2Vote program and organized walks to the polls for early voting Oct. 12, 19 and 26 and Nov. 2.

Tags: , , ,