GAMBIER — Nearly six years ago, the village of Gambier and Kenyon College made national headlines when many students waited until nearly 4 a.m. to vote in the presidential election after the precinct’s one voting machine broke down early in the day. Since then, Kenyon President S. Georgia Nugent has been looking for a way to use the college’s “15 minutes of fame” for the greater good.
The culmination of those efforts, Nugent said, was the development of the Center for the Study of American Democracy, a Kenyon organization that brings leaders of various fields and students together to “address contemporary issues and to do so through the lens of many of our nation’s founding documents. It seems an ideal marriage with the liberal arts tradition of study with the here and now issues that confront our society and our students.”
The center will offer lectures and panels throughout the school year and one major conference of social relevance every two years, Nugent said.
Thursday ushered in the center’s inaugural conference to explore “The Future of Political Parties.”
Two outspoken and highly acclaimed political journalists hashed out their views of politics throughout our country’s history and with a witty, and often humorous, exchange of rhetoric and opinion that captivated a diverse audience that combined youth and idealism with experience and wisdom.