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Lecture Discusses ‘The Constitution in He...

The Schemel Forum’s University for a Day at The University of Scranton features four lectures by prominent professors, lunch and a closing reception. The event was held on campus in September. Speakers were, from left: Akhil Amar, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University; Kevin Klose, president emeritus of National Public Radio and former dean of the College of Journalism at the University of Maryland; Adam Pratt, Ph.D., assistant professor of history at Scranton; Michael Jenkins, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at Scranton; and Sondra Myers, Schemel Forum director.
October 22, 2017
By: By Eric Eiden ’19, student correspondent

A politically filled discussion addressing the most urgent constitutional issues making the headlines at the time occurred at The University of Scranton Schemel Forum’s annual University for a Day.

The lecture “The Constitution in the Headlines” was presented by Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, Akhil Amar, Ph.D., recently on campus during the daylong program. One of the issues he discussed was the division of the North and South during voting in the most recent election.

Dr. Amar began by stating that there is no “big state versus small state” in presidential elections, but instead it is a division between the North and the South in the U.S. He represented the division in America by showing a map of the U.S. after the election and how there was a clear divide in voters from the cities to the rural areas. This was always the case in America as Dr. Amar showed an election map of 1896, which he also compared to the election of 2008 and the only difference being that the parties had flipped.

In the 1896 election, people from the rural areas voted Democrat and people from the cities voted Republican, which is the complete opposite of today. Dr. Amar used this example to show America has always been deeply divided on politics, not just this past election.

Dr. Amar also compared the past election to the race between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He compared Hillary Clinton to Adams and Donald Trump to Jackson. He used the similarities of Trump and Jackson both not being politicians before the elections, and being viewed as a voice of the common people. He also said how Jackson was tough on government leading up to the election, similar to Trump.

The University of Scranton’s Schemel Forum offers area residents the chance to experience the “University for a Day.” The program features four lectures presented by distinguished professors on a range of topics and allows ample time for mingling over morning coffee, lunch and a closing reception. Topics discussed at the 2017 Schemel Forum University for a Day were:Andrew Jackson, the Constitution and the Presidency; The Constitution in the Headlines; The President vs. The First Amendment; and The Highs and Lows of Crime and Justice in the US: Reforming the Practice of Criminal Justice.

Eric Eiden ’19, Throop, is a journalism/electronic media major at The University of Scranton.
Eric Eiden ’19, Throop, is a journalism/electronic media major at The University of Scranton.
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