The Political Science Showdown was to facilitate a discussion between five of the political science professors and students on important global and US political topics. The panel consisted of Professor Nick Hernandez, Dr. Deems Morrione, Dr. Majid Mosleh, Dr. Phil Gussin and Professor David C. Andrus of the Political Science Department at COC.
The Showdown was the second of this school year hosted by the two clubs. The debate landed within a week from the 100 days in office milestone for President Donald Trump. The first one took place just days after Trump was elected the fall 2016 semester.
The professors were given two minutes to respond to prewritten questions in front of an audience of COC students and faculty. The questions covered topics on American politics, geopolitical issues, Trump’s foreign policies, the effects of automation and globalization on the American job market, international responsibility of the United States as a world power and the war in Syria.
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The showdown lasted two hours and was presented in three segments. The first part focused on three specific topics and allowed the professors two minutes to comment. In between topics, the moderator opened it up to the audience to comment or ask questions. The second part only allowed the professors to respond in yes or no answers. The final part was open to the audience to ask any questions or topics they wanted to discuss.
Alexis Harmon, the public relations officer of the Political Science Club, said the goal of the Showdown was “to make it fun and get as much audience involvement while keeping it substantive.”
Harmon worked with Professor Andres the chair of the Political Science Department to write the questions, format the show and moderated as well. Jonathan Flores, president of the Model UN Club also took part in the planning of the event. Flores said, involving the “quality faculty is the utmost importance.” He also felt that giving the students the opportunity to communicate with professors in a non-classroom setting is optimal.
Another piece to the planning committee was, Harry Antonyan the President of Political Science club. Antonyan explained that the planning community sought to find the balance between being informative while staying entertaining. Motivating and sparking interest in students to be aware of what is happening around them on all level of politics was his focus. He went on to say that as president he feels it is his duty to motivate students to be involved in governmental issues at any level. One of Antonyans’ most important topics discussed in the showdown was on getting students to get active and to stay informed about government issues.
The two clubs are planning another event for May 17 at 2 p.m. in Boykin Hall, Room 105. That presentation will be in the format of a game show that will include students as the contestants. The contestants will face off in a battle of knowledge of political science topics and current events. Be sure to check College of the Canyons calendar for all the details.