Skip to main content

The Great Debate and Civic Expo

10/30/2013 09:59AM, Published by Ronda Ball, Categories: In Print, Community, Today




Story by Claudia Mosby

After contentious town hall meetings in 2009, Chico’s then-Assistant City Manager, John Rucker, turned for help to the communications faculty at Chico State University. It turns out many folks do not know how to disagree without being disagreeable.

“He came to us because he was concerned about the tone at many of the city council meetings and asked how we could train the next generation to do better,” says Zach Justus, an assistant professor of communication who coordinates the university’s public speaking courses.

After consultation with city officials, Justus and his colleagues created the Great Debate & Civic Expo, a day-long event held each semester to engage students and community members on hot-button topics.  “We want to demonstrate to students that they can have a discussion without shouting,” says Justus. “There’s a real emphasis on civility. We really hope this serves as a model of civil and civic discourse.”

The event represents the culmination of semester-length student research and presentations on the chosen theme. Faculty members tie into community and campus events and bring speakers into the classroom to build on existing resources and excite and motivate students about the topic and events.

Topic selection is collaborative, and each semester, faculty members, students and representatives from local government meet to discuss and decide the next semester’s theme, which for Fall 2013 is mental health and policies that affect California. “The community is also heavily involved in choosing,” says Justus. “It’s really produced the best results for us.”

The Great Debate & Civic Expo has grown from 300 student participants at its first event in 2010 to more than 2,000 students and several hundred community members each semester. Butte and Shasta Colleges joined as partners in Fall 2010 and Spring 2013, respectively.

“These events provide students with the confidence that they can participate in meaningful discussions about important issues that affect our communities,” says Shelly Presnell, Communication Studies faculty coordinator at Shasta College. “They leave the event feeling empowered by the knowledge that they can make a difference.”

Although the event is non-partisan, Justus says it draws attendance from the Republican and Democratic parties as well as other community groups, offering tremendous value to those who sit across the table from others who hold a different point of view.

“There are lots of places to see hot-button issues talked about, but not many places to see those things talked about well,” says Justus. “If people want to see something that is a real departure from what they would find on cable news, this is the place to come.”


www.csuchico.edu/fye/greatdebate/

530.898.5883

All events open to the public.

THEME: Mental Health & Policies Affecting California 


The Great Debate – Chico State University (and Butte College)

Friday, Nov. 1

9 am (all day): Student debates, presentations and facilitated discussion groups. 

6:30 pm: Evening debate - Chico State University speech and debate team paired with politicians, local activists, lobbyists and other community members.

Location: City Council Chambers, City Plaza, Chico.


The Great Debate & Civic Expo – Shasta College, Redding

Thursday, Nov. 7 – Great Debate

6-7:30 pm: Shasta College Speech and Debate team. Participants can use electronic polling clickers (anonymously) and/or engage in a question-and-answer period at the conclusion of the debate.  

Location: Redding Public Library, Community Rooms A & B 


Friday, Nov. 8 – Civic Expo

9 am – 1 pm: Student-produced interactive booths with activities and opportunity to dialogue.

Location:  Shasta College Cafeteria




civil liberty john rucker civic expo non-partisan butte college shasta collegechico state university debate zach justus


You might also like

Good News Rescue Mission

The Good News Rescue Mission of Redding has a lofty motto: "To offer to those in need, a hand up, not just a hand out."

The MP3 Player Buying Guide

With so many MP3 players on the market, finding the perfect model can be difficult. Because each person needs different things...

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Grant School presents its spectacular production of the favorite family musical, Fiddler on the R...


  • Grant School presents its spectacular production of the favorite family musical, Fiddler on the R...


  • Spring 2015 Home & Garden Expo

    03/28/2015
    10:00am — 05:00pm

    Welcome to the 2015 Spring Home & Garden Expo, being held on March 27th, 28th and 29th. This is ...


  • Spring 2015 Home & Garden Expo

    03/28/2015
    10:00am — 06:00pm

    Welcome to the 2015 Spring Home & Garden Expo, being held on March 27th, 28th and 29th. This is ...


  • Italian Easter Baking with Chef Pam

    03/28/2015
    10:30am — 02:30pm

    Celebrate the return of spring with traditional Italian Easter specialties. Chef Pam will be baki...


  • YVPC's 3rd Annual Community BBQ

    03/28/2015
    02:00pm — 06:00pm

    Please join the Youth Violence Prevention Council's (YVPC) 3rd Annual Community BBQ Fundraiser on...


  • John Hoover and The Mighty Quinns have been entertaining audiences around the Pacific Northwest r...


  • The Magic Bus returns to California Brewhouse

    03/28/2015
    06:30pm — 10:00pm

    It's hard to believe its already been one year since we opened California Brewhouse in Palo Cedro...


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    03/28/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    03/30/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • Children's Beginning Ballet

    03/30/2015
    04:00pm — 05:00pm

    This class introduces young dancers to the fundamental technique of Ballet movement and terminology.


  • Adult/Teen Ballet

    03/30/2015
    07:30pm — 08:30pm

    Ballet technique classes for the aspiring dancer (ages 13+).


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    03/31/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • Story Time

    04/01/2015
    10:00am — 10:30am

    Join us every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. for story time!


  • Artistic Endeavors Spring Open House

    04/01/2015
    10:00am — 11:30am

    Artistic Endeavors Spring Open House Wednesday April 1st, 2015 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM 491 Lak...


  • 3rd Annual Forgery Show

    04/01/2015
    04:00pm — 07:00pm

    Opening reception for the 3rd Annual Forgery Show. The exhibit is comprised of a collection of e...


  • April Fools Day Party with Satisfi-Reggae Rock from Portland- Presented by the Oddstad Gallery ...


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    04/01/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • "Clever Jack and the Magic Beanstalk"

    04/02/2015
    06:30pm — 07:30am

    Stellar Charter School is performing a fun musical of jack and the beanstalk. This is a great sho...


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    04/02/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • Imagination Train

    04/02/2015
    04:00pm — 05:00pm

    All Aboard for an interactive time! Bringing books to life! Storytelling brought to life throug...


  • Red Bluff Rock Choir

    04/02/2015
    04:00pm — 05:00pm

    An Amateur choir for both teenagers and adults who would like to sing. Here you will meet new f...


  • Kids Hip-Hop

    04/02/2015
    04:00pm — 05:00pm

    Your children will love this exciting hip-hop dance class! Bring them in to learn some new moves,...


  • Open Meditation

    04/02/2015
    07:00pm — 08:15am

    Open Meditation classes and individual instruction. I teach various techniques using different mo...


  • Star Touring and Riding Motorcycle Club Meeting

    04/02/2015
    07:00pm — 08:00pm

    Star touring and riding is a local, family oriented group of motorcyclists who enjoy riding the b...


  • John Hoover and The Mighty Quinns are a group of musicians who have been entertaining audiences a...


  • "The Good Lie," and Q&A with Kuoth Wiel

    04/03/2015
    07:00pm — 09:30pm

    Genocide No More--Save Darfur is sponsoring a special showing of "The Good Lie," starring Reese W...


  • Adult/Teen Jazz Dance

    04/03/2015
    06:20am — 07:20am

    Jazz dance classes for the aspiring dancer. (ages 13+)


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    04/03/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • Adult/Teen Ballet

    04/03/2015
    07:30pm — 08:30pm

    Ballet technique classes for the aspiring dancer (ages 13+).


  • The Friends of Shasta County Used Book Sale

    04/04/2015
    10:00am — 01:00pm

    The Friends of Shasta County Libraries will hold a gently used book sale on April 4th, 2015 from ...


  • John Hoover and The Mighty Quinns have been entertaining audiences around the Pacific Northwest r...


  • Free wellness class

    04/04/2015
    09:00am — 09:45am

    iAM is a wellness studio for women. We believe in the power of self love, self acceptance and tre...


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    04/04/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    04/06/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • Children's Beginning Ballet

    04/06/2015
    04:00pm — 05:00pm

    This class introduces young dancers to the fundamental technique of Ballet movement and terminology.


  • Adult/Teen Ballet

    04/06/2015
    07:30pm — 08:30pm

    Ballet technique classes for the aspiring dancer (ages 13+).


  • Redding Pickleball Group

    04/07/2015
    09:00am — 11:00am

    A very fun game. A cross between ping pong and tennis, and racketball and badmitton. You have got...


  • Watercolor Painting ~ Flowers

    04/07/2015
    11:00am — 02:00pm

    Taught by Chris Messer, this Watercolor class requires some painting experience. The class meets...


  • Hone Your Drawing Skills

    04/07/2015
    03:00pm — 04:00pm

    Hone Your Drawing Skills is open to all levels. The class meets weekly on Tuesdays from 3:00-4:...


Trending Content
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram