Sunday, February 12, 2017 Center for Civic Engagement to host Night of Listening
The Center for Civic Engagement, the Association Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN) student government and the College of Arts and Sciences are planning Night of Listening, an event where recognized student organizations (RSOs) and students will share their political hopes and visions with public officials and one another. The discussion will take place Feb. 21 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union Centennial Room. To ensure all student voices are heard, the event is only open to students.
“We’re trying to create a space for students to come together and discuss what’s happening at the local, state and national level in a safe and productive way,” said Shelby Janke, a member of the student task force for the Night of Listening. “We want students to speak in front of their public elected officials and give them face-to-face interaction with leaders in the state and in the nation.”
The concept of the Night of Listening came from professor Max Mueller of the Department of Classics and Religious Studies, who approached the Center in November. The Center then organized a student task force to help organize the event and recruit political officials.
As of Feb. 12, Lincoln City Councilwoman Leirion Gaylor Baird, Lincoln City Councilman Carl Eskridge, State Sens. Adam Morfeld, Anna Wishart and John Lowe are scheduled to attend. A staff member from U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse’s office will be present as well.
The Night of Listening will begin with the elected officials discussing their current projects. Then, RSO representatives will speak on behalf of their organizations and voice their experiences and concerns. An open forum will give all students the opportunity to speak and the Center will provide postcards for students to send messages to elected officials.
“When there’s a political divide in the country, we really feel it on a university level and on campuses across the nation,” said Janke. “We’re focusing the event on moving forward and finding a vision for everyone to work [toward] together.”
The Center is looking forward to providing students the opportunity to become more politically involved and to help facilitate and atmosphere where students can learn by listening to one another.
“I think [the Night of Listening] will provide a productive academic setting for students to use what they’re learning on campus and apply it to real life and their community,” said Janke.