SUNY Orange to Host Panel Discussion March 30; College Professors, ACLU, State Assemblyman to Participate

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- Panelists from the American Civil Liberties Union, New York State Assembly and SUNY Orange will gather for a discussion entitled “Promoting Civility in a Democratic Society” at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 30 in the Gerry Forum of the Rowley Center for Science and Engineering on the College’s Middletown campus.

Panelists will include Marianne Artusio, American Civil Liberties Union; Karl Brabenec, New York State Assembly; Dr. Doug Sanders, SUNY Orange Behavioral Sciences Department; and Susan Slater-Tanner, SUNY Orange Arts and Communication Department. Professor Paul Basinski, chair of the College’s Global Studies Department, will moderate the discussion.

The panel will explore issues of free speech, censorship, civility and democracy--particularly in the areas of art, society, politics and the law--as they relate to college campuses and the general community. Artusio, of the ACLU, will provide the legal framework related to the discussion topics, while Brabenec will offer the political context. Slater-Tanner will speak about art, expression and censorship while Sanders will address the societal impacts of recent events and issues.

Admission is free and the general public is encouraged to attend and participate.

“In light of recent events in our society, we have been faced with many issues that are impacting our interactions and relationships, some positively but many more in a negative fashion,” said Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president. “Most of those issues have also found their way onto college campuses across the country, including a recent event on our campus that called into question the topics of freedom of expression, religious differences and censorship. Many college communities are now faced with addressing, in a thoughtful way, how to deal with the topics of civility, inclusivity, political and religious differences, safety and security, race relations, and many others.”

Some notable recent events include: the October campus shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, which preceded shootings at Northern Arizona University and Texas Southern University less than a week later; the late autumn student-led protests over racism at the University of Missouri; and the reports of pervasive sexual assaults that plaque college campuses nationwide.

The presentation is sponsored by the College’s Global Studies, Criminal Justice and Interdisciplinary Studies departments. For more information, contact Basinski at (845) 341-4828.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940