October 26, 2022

“Campaigns & Elections” Class Lets West Chester University Students Try-on PA Midterm Politics Prior to Voting

College Students Will Simulate Heated Campaign Rallies for PA Senate & Governor Frontrunners as Class Assignment

PA state on drone shot of campusWith midterm elections heating up in the key battleground state of Pennsylvania, West Chester University college students in a “Campaigns & Elections” class will try on politics prior to voting themselves. On Tuesday, October 25, from 2-3:15 pm, and Thursday, October 27, from 2 – 3:15 p.m., students in the class will act out their assigned political party roles during four live simulated campaign rallies on the porches of Ruby Jones Hall, located at 50 University Avenue in West Chester, PA. Porch #1 will feature a student delivering a stump speech as Josh Shapiro; student “campaign members” will disperse pieces of literature on the sidewalk to passersby; and student “reporters” will be able to ask questions of the candidates. Next, Doug Mastriano’s campaign will be simulated live by students on Porch #2, followed by the Mehmet Oz campaign on Porch #3. Returning to Porch #1, the John Fetterman campaign will conclude the event. The live simulations are expected to generate the interest of many students traveling to and from classes.

Live student simulations will also occur on Tuesday, November 1, from 2-3:15 p.m., and Thursday, November 3, from 2-3:15 p.m., in Room 115, Sykes Student Union, located on campus at 110 West Rosedale Avenue in West Chester, for the campaigns of Shapiro/Mastriano, Oz/Fetterman, Fitzpatrick/Ehasz, and Houlahan/Ciarrocchi. Groups of students will engage in a live Democratic/Republican debate, complete with student reporter moderators and even audience hecklers. The last class on Thursday, November 10, will feature students presenting commercials they have produced (one negative and one positive), as well as articles covering recent Republican/Democratic rallies and Republican/Democratic debates. The class is comprised of juniors and seniors, who welcome expressing their thoughts about the 2022 US midterm elections.

“Campaigns & Elections” is taught by veteran political analyst and author John J. Kennedy, professor of political science at WCU. As a widely sought expert commentator on presidential elections and statewide elections in Pennsylvania, Kennedy designed the class to be an interactive study of the patterns, functions, and history of the American political party system on national, state, and local levels. Having taught the course for more than 15 years, Kennedy provides a realistic and dynamic platform for students’ understanding of today’s political interest groups, public opinion, and voting behavior.

Kennedy’s most recent book, Pennsylvania Government and Politics, was released by Cognella Press. He is also the author of Pennsylvania Elections (2005), which explores voting trends across the state, analyzes the political geography of the state and develops a narrative of the people and places that have shaped these elections. In addition, he has written The Contemporary Pennsylvania Legislature (1999), a book investigating the degree to which current social and technological changes have affected the Pennsylvania legislature and how it has been transformed from a part-time lawmaking body to a full-time professional institution. Both books were published by The University Press of America. Kennedy was also the keynote speaker at Pennsylvania’s Capitol Centennial Celebration in Harrisburg.

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