Presenter’s Office Organizes Weekly Lecture Series

The events of Sept. 11 changed the habits of many students. Some exhibited a surge of patriotism. Others reacted in fear. The Associated Students of University of Utah started a weekly lecture series.

The series, “9/11: Responding to Global Affairs,” will begin this semester, featuring speakers addressing topics associated with Sept. 11. Some of the speakers will directly discuss the events of Sept. 11, while other lectures will discuss tangential issues associated with the effects of that day.

These topics include the Mid East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Islam.

“We’re covering quite a variety of issues,” said Ben Lowe, ASUU president. “We feel that being in touch with global issues is a part of education.”

ASUU leaders began meeting in October to put the lectures together. Since then the Presenter’s Office has been working with professors to find knowledgeable speakers willing to speak at a reduced price.

“As a student it’s very difficult to have the contacts necessary to bring in well known speakers,” said Katie Anderson, the programs director of the Presenter’s Office. “We decided this is a community effort. If we use the resources available on campus, we can get excellent speakers for a lower speaker’s fee.”

According to Anderson, all of the speakers will come to the U for an honorarium of $500, which is less than the $1,000 to $75,000 many speakers demand.

Seven of the 12 speakers will be professors visiting from other universities. Other lectures will include a panel discussion on bioterrorism between U professors, an open-mic discussion about the place of Sept. 11 in history and a panel of local leaders discussing the economic impact of global affairs. Robert Flowers, the safety commissioner for Olympic security, will also speak as part of this weekly series.

“We’re excited to get him,” Lowe said. “He’s the foremost authority for Utah.”

The Presenter’s Office also considered getting a well known speaker this semester, using the World Affairs Forum to help pay for such a speaker.

“[The World Affairs Forum] thinks a larger speaker would be overshadowed by the Olympics,” Anderson said. “It’s really difficult with the Olympics to bring in someone of that magnitude.”

Lowe and Anderson both hope ASUU will be able to bring in such a speaker during the next academic year.

As part of the weekly lecture series, all of the visiting professors will speak to a class every Thursday night. This class, America and the Islamic world, will be taught by the three professors who worked to locate the speakers for the series. Although it is a for-credit class, those lectures will also be free and open to the public.

“We just figured students might be more inclined to go to it if they received credit for it,” Anderson said.

The weekly lectures will be every Thursday at noon, beginning on Jan. 10. They will be in different locations on campus, mostly in the Gould Auditorium of the Marriott Library or in the Union.

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