Through a series of faculty panels, student debates, and General Assemblies over the past few weeks, Josef Korbel School students brought the Occupy discussion to the heart of the University of Denver (DU) campus. The aim of these events was to get the DU community talking about the issues of the movement, and to bring political discourse back into the front of people’s minds.
The planning and events involved both graduate and undergraduate students from across the university. Spearheaded by Josef Korbel School students, Social Work, Media, Film and Journalism, and Daniel’s College of Business students were among those tapped for discussion. Faculty panels included professors from Sturm law, the undergraduate writing program, Department of Political Science, and Korbel’s own Co-Director of the Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration (GFTEI) program, Dr. George DiMartino.
“A lot of us have a gut sense of these problems that inform the movement,” said Dr. Jennifer Campbell, a professor in the undergraduate writing program who spoke on the rhetoric of the movement during the Wednesday panel. Understanding history and bringing the movement into the educational space helps to clarify some of the issues, according to Campbell.
Having events on campus to talk about the Occupy Movement helps to jolt people from political complacency, according to Roshan Bliss, who is an MA candidate in the Conflict Resolution program, and argued for the Occupy movement in the student debate Thursday.
“Don’t mistake this movement’s complexity for chaos,” said Bliss. The student debate created a formal space for skeptics to question the movement and its tactics. Daniel’s College MBA students and Undergraduate College Republicans graciously agreed to talk politics with self-identified Occupy supporters for the course of the evening.
Topics ranging from Citizen’s United and corporate personhood to broad economic theory to student debt to tax law to social media rhetoric were brought up over the week. A couple hundred professors, students, and community members attended three events over the week, culminating in the first General Assembly on the Campus Green on Monday. The Occupy DU group hopes to link up with Occupy Denver, particularly with teach-ins and student related issues. General Assemblies will be held weekly on Mondays at 12pm and Thursdays at 4:30pm through the spring.
-Sarah Crozier, MA Candidate, International Development
Josef Korbel School of International Studies