Democracy USA News & Press

News & Press

High Point University Students Showcase Their Experiences

HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 3, 2012 – Over a hundred students filled the Extraordinaire Theater Monday night to watch the videos that documented High Point University students as part of the American Dream Project. The pieces were all written, directed, shot and produced by HPU students. In the first couple of videos students interviewed people from the community on topics such as education, philanthropy and government entitlements. The students came away with eye opening and opinion changing views after talking with people who had life experience in these areas. The last video shown was made about High Point University students who attended the national conventions. Sarah Martin, William Watson and Billy Zarzour were awarded an honorable mention in the North Carolina Campus Compact Competition for this video that told the student’s stories and feelings as they witnessed protests, listened during panels and saw influential speakers. An overall theme of the night was that students were given a once in a lifetime opportunity as participants in this project.

The American Dream Project is part of the Democracy USA Project which is an interdisciplinary and experiential learning exercise that draws together over 20 faculty, 15 courses, and some 300 students with civic engagement opportunities that range from voter registration drives and teaching citizenship classes to over 100 students traveling to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Students are teaching each other across disciplines through large colloquium meetings, they are conducting national and local polls through the HPU Survey Research Center, and they are blogging, researching, and filming a reality TV show about their experiences at the conventions and election-related events.  The Democracy USA Project — supported by HPU’s Think BIG Grant — is committed to extending the college education from the classroom into the community and in the formation of critical thinking, civic-minded students. For more about the Democracy USA Project visit http://www.highpoint.edu/democracyusa and for an inside look at the reality TV produced as the American Dream Project visit http://myamericandream.us.

Kathryn H. Drinkuth
Democracy USA Communication Specialist
High Point University Graduate Student

High Point University Students Participated as Panelists at the Voice Your Vote Event

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 16, 2012 – After talking with Ameer Patel and Jay Rinaldi for just a few minutes I realized that these two political science majors were knowledgeable, passionate and well versed about the important issues facing society today. There is no difficulty seeing why the two High Point University students participated as panelists at the Politic365 Voice your Vote event on September 5, 2012. The Voice your Vote campaign is aimed at giving “Millennial voters a national platform to be heard in the media and at the ballot box”. The event encouraged thought, discussion and involvement among Millennials, prompting them with questions like “will change really happen as a result of these elections”.

During the question and answer session panelists were asked about their major concerns in the upcoming elections. Patel said that “America does not have the resources to retrain workers whose skills have become obsolete due to technological unemployment”. Patel also expressed that he was “worried about the state of our education system and how many college students are unprepared to enter the workforce upon graduation”. He explained that fortunately High Point University does a good job getting students valuable project and internship experience that proves to employers that they have skills transferable to the workplace.

Rinaldi focused his comments around the economy which he explained “ties into a lot of our other issues like jobs, industry, education and healthcare.” The two thought that the Voice your Vote event on campus was a success in that it was well attended and got Millennials thinking about the issues that will affect them in the November elections.

The Politic365 event was sponsored in part by the Democracy USA Project, which is an interdisciplinary and experiential learning exercise that draws together over 20 faculty, 15 courses, and some 300 students with civic engagement opportunities that range from voter registration drives and teaching citizenship classes to over 100 students traveling to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Students are teaching each other across disciplines through large colloquium meetings, they are conducting national and local polls through the HPU Survey Research Center, and they are blogging, researching, and filming a reality TV show about their experiences at the conventions and election-related events.  The Democracy USA Project — supported by HPU’s Think BIG Grant — is committed to extending the college education from the classroom into the community and in the formation of critical thinking, civic-minded students. For more about the Democracy USA Project visit http://www.highpoint.edu/democracyusa and for an inside look at the reality TV produced as the American Dream Project visit http://myamericandream.us.

Kathryn H. Drinkuth
Democracy USA Communication Specialist
High Point University Graduate Student

High Point University Awarded Campus Election Engagement Project Grant

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 10, 2012 – High Point University was recently awarded a grant through the Campus Election Engagement Project of North Carolina (CEEP-NC). The project is an initiative of the North Carolina Campus Compact, whose mission is to “build the capacity of colleges and universities to produce civically-engaged graduates and strengthen communities”. The grant is “intended to support a campus-wide, strategic and comprehensive approach to election engagement”. The grant will fund High Point University’s efforts to get students engaged in the 2012 election through the Democracy USA Project. The CEEP-NC Grant will bolster the Democracy USA Project to support a lecture by Dr. Caryn Musil, Vice-President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, on October 23 at 4:30 in the Phillips Lecture Hall, a lunch with Dr. Musil on October 24 at Noon in the Wilson School of Commerce Building Ballroom, student viewing parties during the Presidential debates and on election night, and voter registration efforts.