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National Agenda speaker series opens Sept. 12

The University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication (CPC) will sponsor its eighth annual National Agenda speaker series this semester, beginning Wednesday, Sept. 12, with a talk by award-winning journalist Lauren Duca.

All talks in the series, which are free and open to the public, begin at 7:30 p.m. in Mitchell Hall. Registration is optional but recommended; visit the Eventbrite page for details.

This year’s series, which brings nationally known speakers to campus, will look at how issues affect the Nov. 6 midterm elections and why voter and civic engagement is important.

A special session, Delaware Debates, will be held at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17, in Mitchell Hall, with debates by major party candidates for Delaware’s U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate seats.

Moderated by the CPC’s founding director emeritus, Ralph Begleiter, Delaware Debates 2018 requires a separate ticket for each of the two debates. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the debate for Delaware’s House seat beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the Senate debate beginning at 8 p.m. For more information and to register for tickets, visit

The director of National Agenda is Lindsay Hoffman, associate director of the Center for Political Communication and associate professor of communication. The series is supported by the Office of the Provost.

Speakers and their topics are:

Sept. 12, Lauren Duca, “Opinions Matter,” co-sponsored by the Department of Women and Gender Studies. Duca is best known for her 2016 Teen Vogue op-ed “Donald Trump is Gaslighting America.”

Sept. 26, Dave DeWalt, “Cybersecurity Matters,” co-sponsored by UD’s Cybersecurity Initiative. DeWalt, a 1986 UD alumnus, is widely considered one of the most influential executives in technology and cybersecurity.

Oct. 10, Gabe Fleisher, “Young Voices Matter,” co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science and International Relations. At age 16, Fleisher is a voice of his generation as the publisher of the political newsletter Wake up to Politics, which has more than 50,000 subscribers.

Oct. 24, Amberia Allen, “Humor Matters,” co-sponsored by UD’s Center for Black Culture. Allen writes for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and is an award-winning stand-up comedian.

Nov. 14, Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan, “Facts Matter,” co-sponsored by the Journalism Program and the Department of Communication. The Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists will reflect on the midterm election results.

‘From Hollywood to Reality’ film series

Alternating with the speaker series, classic feature films and behind-the-scenes documentaries will examine the election process, with films shown at 7 p.m. in UD’s Morris Library Viewing Room.

Hosted by CPC Director Nancy Karibjanian, the film series is free and open to the community, but seating is limited and registration is required. Visit the Eventbrite page for details.

Films in the series are:

Sept. 19, “Pay to Play” documents comical corruption, follows political newcomers and uncovers intrigue.

Oct. 3, “The American President” is a romantic comedy-drama about a U.S. president and his lobbyist girlfriend.

Nov. 7, “Weiner,” a documentary, examines disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s 2013 mayoral campaign.

Nov. 28, “The Candidate” is a 1972 feature film about an idealistic young lawyer who runs for the Senate and finds himself up against a political machine.

Voices Matter audio essay contest

Running in tandem with the National Agenda series, this year’s audio essay contest encourages students to let their voices be heard on the subject of the First Amendment.

Students can submit a two- to four-minute recorded essay about such topics as hate speech, free speech, censorship and what the First Amendment means to them.

For information, visit the Voices Matter website. Deadline for submission of essays is Friday, Nov. 30.

Make It Count campaign

The CPC has partnered with UD’s Biden Institute to increase voter registration and nonpartisan civic engagement across campus and statewide.

Led by graduate and undergraduate UD students, the "Make It Count" campaign seeks to inspire a culture of civic engagement. The campaign will keep students informed and involved on relevant policy topics through on-campus initiatives such as voter engagement drives, facilitated living-room-style conversations on the issues of the day, educational programs and on-campus events.

Students and faculty representatives will be at a number of campus events this fall, including: National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 25, Trabant Main area, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; National Agenda, Oct. 10 and Oct. 24, Mitchell Hall, 7-9:30 p.m.; Living Room Conversations, "To Vote or Not to Vote?" Oct. 25, Trabant Theatre, 4:30-6 p.m.

Visit the Make It Count campaign website to learn more about voter engagement at UD.

The University has been recognized with a top score in a new first-of-its-kind ranking of colleges by how they engage students in voting.

"Out of the 1,488 schools included in our main rankings, only 58 received the top score," Washington Monthly magazine said in its “Best Colleges for Student Voting” list.

The rankings are based on four measures of a college’s commitment to encouraging voting by its students.

Article by Ann Manser; illustration by Lukas Emory

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The Center for Political Communication opens its eighth annual National Agenda speaker series on Sept. 12. This year's theme is "Midterm Matters."

The Center for Political Communication opens its eighth annual National Agenda speaker series on Sept. 12, with a theme of "Midterm Matters." Delaware Debates will be held

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