Faculty and students will share a platform tonight to understand what it means to be responsible citizens during the Searchlight Symposium.At the symposium, Mike Sacken, a professor in the College of Education, and Michael Dodson, a political science professor, will discuss how education and international politics relate to being a responsible citizen.
Sacken said the topic of the event will relate to rights, respect and responsibilities.
“I will be talking about what role the education system plays in helping young people develop into responsible citizens,” Sacken said.
Dodson said he will discuss the respect Americans have and what it takes to be a good citizen.
The Sept. 11 attacks have taken the country in a different direction and have caused Americans to lose respect around the world, Dodson said. He said this, in turn, hinders citizens from achieving their goals and being concerned about important issues such as human rights.
“I believe it has set us on a course that is contrary to our national interest,” Dodson said. “I will try to explain why this has happened and offer some reflection on how our foreign policy has put strain on democratic institutions and practices at home.”
John Wood, a senior English and philosophy major, is organizing the symposium.
“The event is meant to help us understand what our mission statement holds us to,” Wood said, “to understand what it means to be a responsible citizen.”
Initially, Wood said, he wanted to give faculty an opportunity to talk about things they are interested in but cannot discuss in the classroom, such as cultural relevance. Wood then came up with the idea of the symposium to let faculty discuss and address any concerns they have.
Wood said the symposium also provides intellectually stimulating communication by bringing students and professors from various departments together.
The event aims to be educational, informative and stimulating, and students will be allowed to ask questions, Wood said. He said he encourages students to continue with the symposium even after he graduates in May.
Wood said the symposium is sponsored by the Programming Council and Provost Nowell Donovan.