Blogger will kick off September project

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

David Silver wanted a voice, so he started a blog.

“In America we’re constantly being pegged as consumers — how do we become citizens?” asked Silver, an assistant professor of media studies at the University of San Francisco and co-founder of the September Project. “The first requirement to citizenry is a voice and that voice should be public.”

Today in the Hinckley Institute of Politics Caucus Room (OSH Room 255), Silver will give the lecture why I blog and why you should blog from 11:50 a.m. to 12:55 p.m. as part of the project that begins today on campus.

The September Project, now in its fourth year, is hosted by the Marriott Library with support from the Tanner Humanities Center, the Hinckley Institute of Politics and the student government. The project is intended to create dialogue about current events and issues that surround the U campus, Utah and the United States in public spaces such as libraries.

In conjunction with the September Project, members of the OrangeBand Initiative will be giving out orange cards and bands throughout the day on the Marriott East Plaza on which students can write their opinions. The orange bands and cards are intended to spark conversations among students about issues of concern. Students are instructed to tie the bands to themselves or their belongings, and cards will be displayed in the library.

To Silver, blogging is a dialogue about and around issues, not a broadcast where only the announcer has a voice.

On his blog, “Silver in SF,” he writes about his nephew turning four, arriving in Salt Lake City, walking around the Salt Lake City Public Library and developing the September Project. Such topics might not interest every reader on a daily basis, but Silver is voicing what is important to him.

“I think a lot of people who cruise blogs do so without the intention to comment, but sometimes you find a topic that fascinates you and you can’t help yourself,” said Holly Mullen, editor of Salt Lake City Weekly and the boss of her personal blog, MullenTown.com. “Sometimes posters goad me into continuing the dialogue. I’ll see the conversation go back and forth between comments and I’ll jump in as I feel I should.”

In the course Blogging as a Social Force, Joy Pierce — a professor in the department of communication — wants her students, as bloggers, to look closely at what it means to be a blogger and the local and global impact that blogging can have on issues, societal or cultural. As producers, she wants her students to think beyond the “four walls of the institution” and realize the impact they can have on their communities.

“Instead of consuming all the time, what happens when we start creating — with writing, photography and engaging dialogue?” Silver said. “Blogging is for personal development, and to quote Bob Dylan, ‘Those who are not growing are those busy dying.'”

The September Project will conclude Sept. 13 in the Hinckley Institute Caucus Room with Alexander Keyssar, a professor of history at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, who will lecture on the topic Democracy as an Ongoing Project: Threats and Challenges to Democratic Governance in the U.S.

He will speak from 11:50 a.m. to 12:55 p.m.

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