Students discuss policy issues

Apr 23, 2014 1:03 AM

There were nearly 700 people in attendance at Tuesday night’s town hall meeting at Chico State and they were all there to work together to help solve political issues and public policy. As part of the Intro to American Government course at Chico State, students get a chance to be interactive with making a change in their community. "The students have spend the semester thinking about a policy issue or a problem that they're concerned with and they come here tonight to talk about their ideas and meet with community members," said Ellie Ertle, Faculty Coordinator for the town hall meeting.

The students choose a topic to research for the semester and when they get to the town hall meeting, they attend breakout sessions with community members leading the discussion. “The community members are policy activists, political consultants, elected officials who in particular areas of policy and they come and talk to the students about their expertise in that area," explained Ertle.

The program has grown since it started in 2006. Jesus Quintana attended the town hall meeting last year and he’s now involved with bringing an end to human trafficking. "By researching, I found that I was actually pretty passionate about it and through that research I was able to find connections on campus," said Quintana. He says he owes it all to the town hall meeting for helping him fight this issue. "I doubt that I’d be wherever I was if it wasn't for that. I know that through that I was able to find my purpose; my goal." Quintana hopes that the program can help guide other students like it did for him. "The town hall really makes you realize that your voice can be heard."

The town hall meeting at Chico State has gained national attention in recent years including the U.S. Department of Education and other universities across the country who are interested in hosting similar town hall meetings.


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