Students present projects at Service Symposium

Students will have the opportunity to showcase their community-based learning projects during the Service Symposium on April 10. This is the fifth time the Community Involvement Center has hosted the symposium.

Eric Liu, who was a speechwriter and deputy domestic policy adviser for Bill Clinton, will be the keynote speaker at the event. He will speak at 11:30 a.m. in the Shepherd Union Wildcat Theater. After his talk, Liu will also do signings of his book “Gardens of Democracy.”

After the speech, students will have their posters on display in the Shepherd Union Gallery and Fireplace Lounge from 1-2:15 p.m. The posters will display the students’ projects and the impact the projects had on the community.

For one of the projects that will be showcased, students from sociology and political science classes worked together to conduct 15 focus groups to look at community needs of a 10-block area in downtown Ogden. The focus groups included stakeholders to determine the needs of the neighborhoods and how to help children in the area succeed.

“Not only are students helping others, but they are also learning from the service they are engaged in,” said Chad Saunders, the marketing and program assistant for the Community Involvement Center, in a press release. “It really gives them a chance to reflect on what they have done and even discover new projects through the symposium.”

Over the past year, students have done more than 1,100 service hours combined.

Panel to discuss school-to-prison pipeline

A panel will discuss the problems and solutions to the school-to-prison pipeline April 3 at 10:30 a.m. in the Wildcat Theater. The American Democracy Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah will host the forum.

The school-to-prison pipeline is created through policies that push children, especially those with learning disabilities or those in poverty, into the criminal justice system. The panel will discuss how to stop the pipeline.

“It’s a concern in schools that certain students are pipelined,” said Leah Murray, associate professor of political science and philosophy, in a press release. “They get harsher punishments and seem to be profiled as bad kids early on and get pipelined into bad behavior later.”

People on the panel include John Mejia, legal director of the ACLU of Utah; Emily Chiang, associate professor of law at the University of Utah; Brenda Valles, senior research analyst of the Office for Equity and Diversity at U of U, and Forrest Crawford, assistant to the president for diversity and professor of teacher education at Weber State University. Murray will moderate the panel.

“It affects Weber State University, as we are training the next generation of citizens here,” Murray said. “Students need to be aware of issues in the public schools. We have a number of students who want to be teachers, and the more they are aware, the better the schools will be.”