C-SPAN Bus Visit Provides Political Process Education Experience

C-SPAN Bus Visit Provides Political Process Education Experience

The University of San Diego on Tuesday served as the latest stop on a cross-country tour for a bus operated by the public affairs television network C-SPAN.

C-SPAN Bus Visit

Citing a desire to engage students and the entire campus community through interactive demonstrations of C-SPAN’s multiplatform public service resources, visitors could take political quizzes, learn about the network’s unfiltered coverage of the political process, take a selfie with the “U.S. Capitol” building image in the background or holding a C-SPAN microphone, and share their voice on an issue they are passionate about and want to send that message directly to the 2020 presidential candidates.

“I think the idea of being an adult in America is kind of flawed,” said Jack Love, a sophomore political science major and philosophy minor, to a C-SPAN camera. “I’m 20, but if I was 18, I could be tried as an adult, I could go into the military. Technically, I’m considered an adult, but I can’t have a drink at a bar … I can’t do several things, so I’m not really considered, socially, an adult until I’m 21. I think that’s flawed and it confuses people of our age.”

The Campaign 2020 Bus has crossed the country this election season, kicking off at campaign events and the first-in-the-nation caucuses in Iowa before heading to New Hampshire and Nevada for their high-profile primaries. Throughout the year, the bus has traveled to campaign events, middle and high schools, and universities with a focus on introducing first-time voters to C-SPAN's nonpartisan coverage of the political process. Love and other USD students who offered their opinions on an issue they’d like presidential candidates to respond to is a “Voices from the Road” project. Ivette Lucero, who was representing C-SPAN on the bus, said some of the answers filmed would be shared on C-SPAN networks or its Twitter account handle, @cspanbus.

Separate from C-SPAN’s question-and-answer format, Mary-Logan Miske, a sophomore and USD Associated Students Government senator, told USD News Center that she appreciated seeing the C-SPAN bus on campus and felt it matched with what she’d like to see more of among her fellow USD students.

“I think it’s very important to discuss politics on campus, regardless of what side you’re on and whether that’s popular or not,” Miske said. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for students to not only get involved, but also to learn other perspectives from other classmates or other officials who are here with us. I encourage people, even if you feel overwhelmed or maybe don’t have all the information that you can certainly learn from your peers.”

One visitor to the bus was Noelle Norton, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences who prior to being named dean in 2013 was a USD political science professor. Norton chatted with students, took a legislative-focused quiz, and spoke highly of the opportunity the campus had to experience the bus' resources and hoped more students would engage and heighten their involvement in learning about the political process.

“You can ask questions and share what issues are important to you,” Norton said. “Drawing awareness to this particular election cycle is critical and to have C-SPAN here is exciting.”

The bus spent two days in San Diego. Prior to the USD stop Tuesday, the bus visited Chula Vista High School and it was scheduled to go to Correia Middle School on Wednesday morning before moving on to Arizona.

— Ryan T. Blystone

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