On Nov. 16 in the Maxwell Library Heritage Room, Bridgewater State University (BSU) hosted Civic Education and Engagement–A panel discussion.
The panel featured speakers such as BSU student Lucas Fagundes, Dr. Frederick, Councilor Lopes, and Mr. Smith. The panel was moderated by Dr. Serra.
Fagundes discussed the importance of voter registration and participation. He included where voters can register and how to get an absentee ballot.
“The actions we do now, will impact the future generations,” said Fagundes. “They will have to deal with the decisions that we put in place today.”
Frederick discussed how voters filter and process the vast amount of campaign information they receive.
“There is a part of education that’s important. And that is to develop good, democratic citizens,” said Frederick. “People that can be engaged in our communities and can be active participants.”
Smith and Lopes discusses the importance of public service from the perspective of experienced practitioners.
Smith currently serves as an Energy Executive for Siemens based in Boston and is responsible account management of energy service projects for governmental, educational, and healthcare customers throughout the Northeast.
He advocates for young student to consider running for office in the future.
“Just jump in whether you’re serving on a local board or a voluntary position,” said Smith. “Grab the opportunity because it’s incredibly fulfilling.”
Alongside the other speakers, Lopes, President of the New Bedford City, joined the conversation and spoke about the importance of public service and lack of civic engagement.
“I represent a city of 100,000 people, and the scary thing is less than 14,000 people vote,” said Lopes. “So think about that, one percent of the population represents the entire city council.”
The panel concluded by students actively asking questions for the panel members to answer.
The Civic Education and Engage-ment panel was sponsored by The Center for Democratic Governance and The Institute for Policy Analysis and Regional Engagement.
Stephanie Dawber is the Editor-in-Chief of The Comment newspaper. Follow her on Twitter @StephanieDawber.