Campus offers opportunity to explore Election 2012 along with students this October

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2012 will be a history-making election year and Lipscomb University is offering a range of opportunities to explore the presidential election more in-depth with gatherings to watch the presidential debates in October,  a five-week Lifelong Learning course taught by political science experts and a free public forum hosted by the Tennessee Bar Association.


Pizza and Politics: Watch the Presidential Debates with students and political professionals

Lipscomb University invites the public to join its students to view all four presidential and vice presidential debates this October on campus. Polls of the audience on relevant political issues will be taken on-site and political professionals Tom Ingram and Lisa Quigley will serve on a panel analyzing the candidates’ performance.

Lipscomb’s Pizza and Politics series will offer debate watchers free pizza, a large screen for maximum viewing, expert advice on what to watch for during the debate and post-debate analysis by Tom Ingram, former chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and the Senate Republican Policy Committee; Lisa Quigley, former congressional candidate and now chief of staff to Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN); and a Lipscomb student voter.

The schedule for each debate – Oct. 3, 11, 16 and 22 – is as follows:

  • 7:15 p.m.: Free pizza served
  • 7:30 p.m.: Attendees polled on the latest election issues using wireless clickers that instantly tabulate the results. Lipscomb faculty provide advice on what to watch for during the debate.
  • 8 p.m.: Televised debate starts
  • 9:30 p.m.: Post-debate poll of attendees completed and local political experts discuss the debate and each candidate’s performance.

The Oct. 3, 16 and 22 Pizza and Politics presidential debate events will be held in Shamblin Theatre. The Oct. 11 event for the vice presidential debate will be held in the Ezell Center, room 301.

Pizza and Politics is held by the Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership in partnership with the departments of communication and journalism, and history, politics and philosophy, both in the Lipscomb College of Arts and Sciences.


Lifelong Learning: The Election of 2012

Lipscomb’s Lifelong Learning Program is offering a five-week course focused on this year’s presidential election.

The Elections of 2012
Tuesdays, October 16, 23, 30 and November 6, 13
3:00-4:30 pm
Ezell Center Andrews Institute, Room 359
Cost $60

Instructors: Dr. Craig Bledsoe, Lipscomb University provost, and Linda Peek Schacht, executive director of Lipscomb’s Nelson and Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership and a former communications official in the federal government.

“The Elections of 2012” will offer a broad look at the 2012 campaigns. Strategies, platforms, issues, candidates and political advertisements will be examined.  In addition, the results of the 2012 elections will be analyzed. The 2012 campaign will also be put in an historical context.

The Lifelong Learning Program offers people of retirement and semi-retirement age an opportunity to expand knowledge and explore new ideas in an informal, noncompetitive environment. Learning occurs in a pleasant social atmosphere in classes with one’s peers. There are no exams and no grades or credits.

You may register online for classes at or call the Lifelong Learning office at 615.966.6216 to receive a registration form.


Balancing Civility and Free Expression

The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) will bring its Balancing Civility and Free Expression Initiative to Lipscomb University on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 6 p.m. in the Ezell Center.

This free public forum on civility and the courts will feature a panel of experts including retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Lyle Reid, a chance to watch the third presidential debate with all the attendees at 8 p.m., and analysis of the debate by political experts afterwards.

TBA’s Balancing Civility and Free Expression Initiative is designed to encourage public conversation about the tensions between civility and free speech, the state of our public square and the challenges of maintaining civil discourse in a democracy.

Lipscomb’s forum will focus on civility in interacting with the courts, as well as in discussing issues affecting the access to and delivery of justice. It will feature a panel of experts discussing real-life scenarios that raise civility and free speech issues and will conclude with a question and answer session with the audience.  

Panelists will be Justice Reid, Frank Sutherland, former editor of The Tennessean, and Phyllis Hildreth, academic director of Lipscomb’s Institute for Conflict Management. The moderator will be Bill Haltorn, Memphis lawyer and former TBA president who is writing a book on civility and politics using Senator Howard H. Baker Jr. as the exemplar.

The Balancing Civility and Free Expression Initiative is part of the Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy – A National Dialogue program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

TBA’s local partners for the Tennessee programs are the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University; Lipscomb University’s Institute for Law, Justice and Society; the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law; and the University of Tennessee Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.