Hinckley Institute raises the bar

By By Chronicle Senior Staff

By Chronicle Senior Staff

In a state widely considered to be a bastion of conservative thought led by a Legislature composed of a single-party supermajority, one would assume the level of political discourse would be rather low.

One might also assume that the disenfranchised liberals would have little recourse or means by which to express their views while the giant conservatives would take for granted their widespread power over policy in Utah.

But the U is bucking these assumptions through one of the nation’s greatest political institutions, the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

On the U campus, an island of red and blue in a sea of deep crimson, the institute of politics bolsters public discourse and political deliberation at levels unseen by many campuses in the most politically competitive states.

The institute is commonly considered to be among the top of its sort in the nation and is looked upon highly for its internship program and prestigious speakers.

Hinckley organizers recently returned from Harvard University, where they met with people from other leading campus political institutions. They addressed the topic of youth apathy and brainstormed ways to increase political awareness, attaching it to service, which is more popular among college demographics.

But the institute of politics isn’t focusing squarely on reaching out to other states and people outside of the U.

In addition to continuing a tradition of bringing influential speakers to campus, such as Ben Stein this past Monday, the institute began a course this semester to foster interest in its wide range of speakers and offer course credit to students who participate. The Hinckley Forums class requires students to write 10 papers during the course of the semester on any 10 Hinckley forums.

Bryson Morgan, president of Hinckley Institute Student Alliance, has joined the efforts of several campus entities-College Democrats, College Republicans, VoteProject, Associated Students of the University of Utah’s Government Relations Board, Public Interest Advocacy and Service Politics and Civic Engagement-to raise awareness of politics at the U.

The organization offers more resources, including an office, to these student groups while increasing their visibility on campus.

The Hinckley Caucus Room has housed several debates between College Democrats and Republicans this semester in its efforts to assist student groups.

The institute is diversifying the type of degrees offered by the university as well with the implementation of the campaign management minor and the Institute of Public and International Affairs.

U students have a vital program at their disposal that is not commonplace at every university. The politics institute is beginning to expand beyond the horizon of politics and welcome students from various majors.

All students should take advantage of the institute’s programs, whether it is through internships, attending forums or joining student groups associated with HISA.