Political science students featured on Newschannel 5

Nasir Almasri being interviewed by Grant BissellOn Oct. 16, Newschannel 5 (KSDK-TV) multimedia journalist Grant Bissell interviewed two SIUE students who watched the presidential debate in the Morris University Center. The students, sophomore Political Science and History major Nasir Almasri and junior Political Science major Robert Wann III, were featured on the news that night following the debate.

A video of the segment featuring the students can be found on KSDK’s website.

Almasri and Wann are members of the Political Science Association (PSA), a non-partisan student organization on campus whose main goal is to “fight political apathy” among SIUE students. The PSA had sponsored the event of watching the debate in the Morris University Center, encouraging students to watch this important presidential election event as a community.

Both Almasri and Wann were pleased to be interviewed, as it only helps them promote PSA’s intent to not only get students engaged in politics but to let them know that they have a voice as well.

“I thought [being interviewed” was pretty cool,” Wann says. “They only were able to use a small portion of the interview, so I didn’t feel that I got very much across, but a little is better than nothing at all when it comes to college kids’ views on politics.”

Almasri’s response, as seen in the segment, focused on education, which is a topic that he feels is important for students to speak up about.

“I was very happy to speak about funding education,” Almasri says. “As a student, I think our voices get lost in the shuffle sometimes.”

The PSA’s faculty advisors, Political Science professors Dr. Anne Flaherty and Dr. Laurie Rice, were proud to see their students represent the PSA and the University so positively.

As the presidential election becomes near, Flaherty has noticed even more excitement and passion among students in the PSA, even though students in the group are usually very politically involved to begin with. What Flaherty finds most amazing, though, is the students’ abilities to put aside disparity over differing viewpoints and come together for political advocacy.

“What is particularly striking about the group is how the students are able to stay committed to the broad goal of encouraging everyone’s political engagement, even while they certainly recognize their own political differences,” says Flaherty. “This is a great example of how democracy can and should work.”

The PSA will be sponsoring another campus-wide invitation to join them in watching the last presidential debate on Monday, October 22nd, in the Goshen Lounge at the Morris University Center at 8 p.m. All students are encouraged to attend.

The PSA has also created informational flyers about both President Obama and Governor Romney that will be distributed on campus on October 22nd to help students better understand the policy platforms of the two candidates. Students in the PSA plan to create similar brochures regarding regional and local elections.

Along with sponsoring debate-watching events and circulating information, the PSA will additionally help transport Madison County senior citizens to early voting locations, including SIUE.

For more information about PSA’s events, officers, and mission, visit the organization’s website.

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