Students Get Informed and Involved in Florida Politics
The gubernatorial race for Florida’s future has sparked the political interest of students across Broward College. In the weeks leading up to the October 15 Florida gubernatorial debate at Broward College’s Central Campus, 3501 Davie Road, Davie, students will have the rare and exciting opportunity to experience democracy firsthand by becoming active participants in the political process, working to increase voter registrations, and closely examining and addressing key issues of this election season.
“I’m very excited about the debate being held at Broward College,” said Stefan DaCosta, president of the Latin American Student Association on Central Campus. “Not many people get this kind of educational and civic opportunity while they are attending college.”
Student life organizations on each of the Broward College campuses will be partnering with the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office and voter registration representatives in an effort to help register as many people as possible through a series of voter registration drives scheduled in September.
On North Campus, students are even taking civic engagement a step further with a grassroots approach. “Students are going out every afternoon with their laptops to try and encourage people to register to vote,” said Joseph Pickering, director of North Campus Student Life and Development. “It might seem like a small thing, but it really makes a big difference to the community.”
As well as trying to get people registered to vote, students are getting informed and involved in the political issues of this election season. They are being encouraged to think critically through a series of team events, titled “Critical Thinking & Political Literacy: Students Engaging Important Questions.” These events serve as a platform for students to engage with one another by analyzing, exploring and generating well-justified conclusions based on their independent research of a political topic of their choice. Students have already decided to focus on issues of healthcare, the environment, minimum wage legislation, the legalization of marijuana, student loan debt solutions, immigration policy and net neutrality.
The night before the gubernatorial debate, Broward College’s speech and debate team will participate in a live mock debate, which will be filmed at the College’s television studio at Central Campus and streamed online. This debate is an opportunity for students to become aware of the issues facing Florida and also better understand the two candidates. Designed to be a team format, two groups will represent the candidates and answer questions posed by Manny Munoz, co-host and executive producer for “South Florida’s First News with Jimmy Cefalo” on News Radio 610 WIOD.
“I really believe that all of these opportunities we have this semester can serve as a reminder for my generation to do its due diligence, research and see who they think would serve Florida best. Then, they should get out and vote based on their conclusion,” said DaCosta.