With local elections right around the corner in November, the Boise State Political Science Association and the Idaho Civic Engagement Project have collaborated to offer weekly candidate forums at Boise State.
Starting Sept. 3 and occurring once a week until Oct. 29, a different candidate will have a platform to speak and answer questions about their campaign and important issues each week during the noon hour.
Selection of these candidates was nonpartisan; both Republican and Democratic politicians were invited to participate. The forums will be free and open to students as well as the general public.
Aspen Compton, treasurer of the Boise State Political Science Association and a political science junior, said a goal of these events is for the candidates to have the opportunity to discuss their stance on public interests. This in turn will give voters information they need to make a decision on who to vote for.
“We want (people) to see how important these elections are,” Compton said. “We tend to think our votes don’t count, but they do, especially in the local elections.”
Compton hopes these forums will serve to motivate and encourage the community to vote.
Compton also hopes these events will inspire students to find their niche in the political world and align with candidates and issues to see change take place. The forums are an opportunity for the community to ask questions of the candidate, with a Q & A session taking place after the candidate is introduced and has given their speech.
“The more informed (the public is) the more they will have the ability to understand how the (politicians) on Capitol Hill or locally affect us as individuals,” Compton said.
The idea for this project came about from adjunct political science professor Isaac Castellano. Compton said Castellano wanted to do similar events, and wanted them to be bigger, so he approached the Political Science Association. Although the first candidate for Sept. 3 has not been confirmed, six candidates have been scheduled.
“It’s going to be very real, sitting in a room with a candidate you hear about on the news,” Compton said.