A panel discussion about President Donald Trump’s impact on democracy gave students and community members an opportunity to asks questions and voice concerns in an open environment on Monday at Fat Patty’s.
The Herd in Town event led by Marshall University political science professors Damien Arthur, Shawn Schulenburg, George Davis and Jaime Warner covered topics ranging from Trump’s use of social media to his evangelical following.
“The closer we get to the upcoming presidential election and the more political a lot of our discourse gets its more and more important to have conversation like these,” Paige Looney, a Marshall political science student, said.
The holistic perspective of the political sphere theses professors offer is important in educating students and community members in an unbiased way, Looney said.
“I think regardless of your political view, right now current events seem very scary and you are probably a little afraid,” Looney said. “But it’s nice to hear from people who have studied this for a majority of their life saying this isn’t the end of the world and here’s why.”
The atmosphere created by the leaders of the event allowed for open conversation and a time to ask questions about the complex issue of Trump and democracy, said another Marshall student, Jeremiah Parlock.
“The setting itself being at Fat Patty’s and having a lot of different academics and different people in political science department really made it an atmosphere where you knew it wouldn’t be controversial or anything hotly contested, but an open dialogue,” Parlock said.
The dialogue and education fostered by this event is important and necessary for Marshall to continue, he said.
“It’s incumbent on them (Marshall) as being such a big part of the community to give information and insight into different fields the university offers to the community,” he said.
The civil discourse created by this event is helpful in continuing conversations and allowing students and community members gain more information or from the speakers and each other, Looney said.
“I was surprised by how many community members came out,” she said. “Obviously this is a hot topic in terms of Trump and religion, but I think what’s valuable is having people of all ages being able to be here and learn from this experience.”
Herd in Town events occur every semester and cover various disciplines of the university.
Ralph May can be contacted at [email protected]