Rock out for Politics!

Emily Koenig

“No apathy, no excuses!”
This central statement of President Jill Beck’s opening speech set the tone of “Rock out for Politics!” The event, which took place Sunday, Oct. 26 from 1-4 p.m., urged all students to vote and included policy discussion from professors and musical performances from students.
The event was organized by the Rhythm of Politics team, which consists of students Nick Anderson ’09, Sirgourney Tanner ’09, Cecily McMillan ’11, Chelsea Wantland ’10, Jasmine Peters-McClashie ’11, Tasmia Rahman ’11, Kat Tow ’11, April Verser ’10 and the Lawrence University’s College Democrats and College Republicans, as well as staff members Mohammed Bey, LaDonna Hayden and Beth Adamski.
The professors’ discussions covered several of the most heavily debated and immediately relevant elements of the election. Professors Finkler and Brozek discussed the candidates’ positions on economic and foreign policy, respectively. Both emphasized the importance of looking beyond superficial opinions on candidates; Brozek particularly mentioned people’s critiques of Obama’s and Palin’s experience.
Professor Bowles-Smith contributed a more historical perspective by presenting an overview of women in national politics, primarily women who have run for the presidential office.
Bowles-Smith also urged examination of “the balances and imbalances.and their sedimentation in the political system.that underscore the events that happen on and around the political stage in America.”
Student musicians also contributed to the event. Fatbook, Moonbox, Cara Wantland & Andre Juan and Tom Beneke all shared their music in order to raise excitement about voting.
On the significance of the event, Professor Bowles-Smith commented, “I think both in the ideal and the execution it’s a very cool thing to bring together music and discussion about politics. For me, it added a sense of immediacy and vitality, and also made me think that students are.participating in political discourse in a lot of decentralized ways [talking about it over coffee, at performances, etc].”
The Rhythm of Politics events do not stop at this particular rally. They will continue all week in anticipation of the upcoming election. The third Presidential debate was shown and discussed in Riverview Monday night. The Vice Presidential debate was shown Tuesday night, and on Wednesday night, the College Republicans and College Democrats will debate in the Underground Coffeehouse.