This website works best with a current browser. Update your browser from

Civic Dialogue

Fredonia Academic Community Engagement Center
701 Maytum Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
Phone: (716) 673-3758
Fax: (716) 673-4973

One of the objectives of the FACE Center is to foster civic dialogue on and off the campus of SUNY Fredonia, to help create the conditions for campus community members to participate in discussing and shaping their civic space. Civic dialogue is often defined as a public conversation about civic issues, policies, or decisions of consequence to people’s lives, communities, and society. Civic dialogue explores the dimensions of civic or social issues, working toward common understanding through community discussion. Listed below are examples of civic dialogue on and off campus. We hope that you are able to participate in and provide your own contributions to civic dialogue across our campus community.

Recent Campus Community Civic Dialogue

November 8: Assemblyman Parment on Redistricting after the Census, Horizon Room, 3-4

Assemblyman William Parment visits campus to discuss legislative redistricting after the 2010 census and other issues facing the New York State legislature. Bill Parment was first elected to the 150th Assembly District in 1982 and is serving out his 14th term. He is retiring after 28 years of representing a district that includes SUNY Fredonia and most of Chautauqua County. 

October 25: A Campus Forum with Congressman Higgins, S-104 Williams Center, 4-5 pm

Congressman Brian Higgins will be speaking with students, taking questions on the issues and discussing the importance of involvement in the political process. Brian Higgins has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005 and represents New York’s 27th Congressional District, which includes all of Chautauqua County, most of eastern and southern suburban Erie County, and a large portion of the city of Buffalo. The discussion is moderated by FACE Director David Rankin and is a part of the SUNY Vote 2010 campaign 

October 21: Meet the Candidates Debate, Fredonia Opera House, 7:00 pm

Candidates for the 27th congressional district, 57th New York State senate district, and the 150th State Assembly district were on hand to take questions in a town hall debate hosted by the Chautauqua County League of Women Voters. 

October 12: State Assembly Town Hall Debate, W101 Thompson, 2-3:30 pm

All members of the campus and community are welcome to attend and are encouraged to bring issues and concerns to this town-hall style debate in which New York Assembly candidates Nancy Bargar and Andrew Goodell will be answering questions directly from the audience. The candidates are competing for the 150th district seat held for 28 years by retiring incumbent William Parment. The debate is moderated by FACE Director David Rankin and is a part of the SUNY Vote 2010 campaign. 

September 20: A Conversation with Former Lt. Governor Lundine, S-104 Williams Center, 4-5:30 pm

Former Lieutenant Governor Stan Lundine addresses government efficiency, electoral politics, civic engagement and related topics in a question and answer session at SUNY Fredonia. Lundine served two terms as New York State Lieutenant Governor under Governor Mario Cuomo and he was elected six times to the United States House of Representatives. Lundine began his career in elected office at age 30 as the Mayor of Jamestown, serving three two-year terms. The event is moderated by FACE Director David Rankin and is part of Constitution Week 2010.

September 15: SUNY Vote 2010 Panel Discussion and Forum, S-104 Williams Center, 7-8:30 pm

SA President Kevin Wysocki, Politics and International Affairs Association (PSA) President Hunter Benson, PSA Vice President Kelly Tichacek and College Democrats’ President Alexandra Ames discuss the importance of SUNY Fredonia students getting out the vote and strategies to register and turn out the vote in 2010. Chuck Cornell, Director of the SUNY Fredonia Center for Regional Advancement and a former County Legislator, weighs in on the New York State contests, including the race for governor. FACE Director David Rankin moderates the discussion and also considers the potential local, state and national impact of the congressional elections and what to expect from the youth vote. The event is part of Constitution Week 2010. 

Spring 2010

April 8: Dissolution and Consolidation of Local Government, Village Hall, Fredonia, 6:30-8 pm

The N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act establishes uniform procedures for the consolidation or dissolution of local government. SUNY Fredonia’s Center for Regional Advancement (CRA) hosted a town forum to discuss the new law affecting consolidation of local governments in New York State. Panelists included New York State Deputy Attorney General J. David Sampson, Fredonia Mayor Michael Sullivan, County Legislator John Gullo, and FACE Director David Rankin, moderated by John D' Agostino, Publisher of the Dunkirk Observer. 

March 25: Opportunities in Local Politics and Campaigns, S-104 Williams Center, 4-5:30 pm

SUNY Fredonia Recent and current SUNY Fredonia students discussed their experience and the opportunities available in local politics and campaigns in a discussion moderated by FACE Director David Rankin. The panelists included: Jeff Bochechio (’07), Executive Director for Erie County Executive Chris Collins “Collins for Our Future;” Nicholas Dhimitri, 2008-09 SA President, campaign consultant for Brian Higgins for Congress and former Campaign Manager for Chuck Cornell for Chautauqua County Executive; Joel Keefer (’98), Executive Assistant to Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards; John Mackowiak (’09), a Staff Writer for the Dunkirk Observer and former Communication Director on the Cornell campaign; Shirley Pulawski, currently a Geosciences major and the President of the League of Women Voters Chautauqua County. The event was cosponsored by the FACE Center and the Convocation Committee. 

February 11: State of Youth Participation, Presentation and Forum, Fenton 105, 12:30-2 pm

Dr. Daniel Shea, Professor of Politics and International Affairs and Director of the Center for Political Participation (CPP) at Allegheny College discussed trends, challenges, opportunities, and strategies for youth voter mobilization and political participation. As CPP Director, Dr. Shea has led the effort to promote multiple avenues for political awareness and participation, especially among high school and college students. Joining the discussion were SUNY Fredonia student leaders Adam Malchoff, Chairperson of the campus chapter of the Department of Environmental Affairs; Shirley Pulawski, President of the League of Women Voters Chautauqua County; and Ryan Quinn, President of College Democrats in a forum moderated by FACE Director David Rankin. 

February 9: Redistricting in New York State, Intermezzo Coffee House, Fredonia, 12 pm

Following the 2010 decennial census, New York state will face the challenge of redistricting lines for its congressional members to the US House of Representatives. Because of the intense partisanship and debate often attached to the redistricting decision, many states, including New York, are considering reforms to the redistricting process. David Rankin, Associate Professor and Chair of Politics and International Affairs at SUNY Fredonia, discusses the redistricting issue at a luncheon presentation organized and sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Chautauqua County.

Fall 2009

November 3: Civic Agency and the Future of Higher Education, Live Webinar and Discussion, S-104 Williams Center, 2:30-4:30 pm

Civic agency involves how people develop the skills, confidence, and outlook to shape their own lives and communities and to become agents of change. On Election Day 2009, one year after an energized youth mobilization played a critical role in transforming American electoral history, we asked campus community members to join us as we consider the history and future of civic agency as an organizing theme for higher education. The American Democracy Project in partnership with the Society for College and University Planning, Center for Democracy and Citizenship, Imagining America, CIRCLE, and several other organizations sponsored this live webcast moderated by Harry Boyte, with campus discussion moderated by FACE Director David Rankin.

October 29: All Politics is Local: Meet the Candidates, Fredonia Opera House, 7 pm

Community members took advantage of the opportunity to meet the candidates for Chautauqua County electoral contests before casting their votes on November 3rd, 2009. Multiple local candidates, including the race for the 6th, 24th, and 25th county legislative districts and Chautauqua County Executive, squared off in debate hosted and moderated by the League of Women Voters (LWV), Chautauqua County. Participants brought questions and concerns on local and regional policies, programs, and proposals to this town hall debate and community forum.

October 21: Student Experiences and Internship Opportunities in Washington, Open Forum, S-104 Williams Center, 2-4 pm

SUNY Fredonia students recently interning in Washington, DC were on hand to share important information and personal reflections about their internship placements and participation in the program. Kaylea Happell, a former SUNY DC intern and current Outreach Coordinator for the SUNY Brockport Washington Internship Program described internship opportunities now available to interested students of all majors. David Rankin, Associate Professor and Chair of Politics and International Affairs, discussed his role as a SUNY Fredonia coordinator of DC internships and as a Visiting Associate Professor working with DC interns across the SUNY colleges and universities. Read about the DC internship experience in students' own words in the Leader.

October 21: "Dilemmas of Public Engagement with Detention and Interrogation in Post 9/11 America,” Convocation Series Discussion, S-104 Williams Center, 7-9 pm.

Citizens need information in order to make good decisions in a democratic society. Yet the government's perceived need for secrecy can be in direct tension with the democratic value of an informed citizen. This leads to a dilemma for public engagement: how to balance these competing interests, particularly in a polarized moment in political time. In a panel discussion moderated by Politics and International Affairs Professor James Hurtgen, Politics and International Affairs Associate Professor Jonathan Chausovsky, Philosophy Professor Stephen Kershnar, and Politics and International Affairs senior Timothy Porter discuss the history of detention in the political process, the role of an engaged citizenry monitoring this process, and the problem of activism amongst an often disinterested citizenry. The discussion was cosponsored by the Politics and International Affairs Association, Department of Politics and International Affairs, and the Convocation Committee. Read about the event in the Leader.

October 1: Health Care Forum, S-104 Williams Center, SUNY Fredonia, 7-9 pm

A panel discussion on health care reform featured Kendra Harris, former case worker for BlueCross BlueShield and Regional Assistant for U.S Senator Kirsten Gillibrand; Jonathan Lawrence, President and CEO of Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York; Dr. Richard Jankowski, Politics and International Affairs Professor whose expertise is political parties and voting patterns; and Dr. Alex Caviedes, Politics and International Affairs Assistant Professor, who studies world health care systems. The discussion was moderated by David Rankin, FACE Director and Department Chair of Politics and International Affairs, and co-sponsored by the College Democrats, Politics and International Affairs Association, American Democracy Project, and the Department of Politics and International Affairs. Read about the event in the Leader.

September 22: "Interpreting the Constitution and the Court," Panel Discussion, S-121 Williams Center, SUNY Fredonia, 3:30-5:00 pm

In observation of Constitution Day 2009, political science faculty members, Dr. Jonathan Chausovsky and Dr. James Hurtgen joined several of their students in a panel discussion of the Constitution and the Supreme Court. Students share their thoughts on listening to Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy at the Chautauqua Institution on August 27 and how this has informed their views on the Constitution and the role of the Supreme Court. Justice Kennedy argued that there are at least two versions of liberty that inform the US Constitution but sometimes clash, one emphasizing rights associated with freedom of personal expression, the other with the freedom we associate with active participation in a self-governing community. The discussion was moderated by David Rankin, FACE Director and Department Chair of Politics and International Affairs, and co-sponsored by the Department of Politics and International Affairs, the American Democracy Project, the Politics and International Affairs Association, and Students for Liberty. Read about the event in the Leader.

Page modified 12/7/15