Student represents Oakland University at College Debate 2016

Student represents Oakland University at College Debate 2016
Jana Al-Jarrah, a political science major at Oakland University, has just returned from participating as a Michigan delegate at the College Debate 2016 in California.

Jana Al-Jarrah, a political science major at Oakland University, has just returned from participating as a delegate at the College Debate 2016 in California. She was part of a national, student-led conversation around the key issues that resonate with younger voters.

This year marked the first-of-its-kind initiative that was created by and held at Dominican University in California, a Voter Education Partner of the Commission on Presidential Debates. College Debate 2016 drew on technology and social media to generate discussion of issues important to college age students, and to bring those issues to the attention of the moderators of the Presidential Debates in the fall.

One important issue to Al-Jarrah is immigration. She said on her College Debate bio that “The Syrian population has been immensely underrepresented when it comes to immigration. I think we need to take a good hard look at the refugee crisis and that we should help these refugees who have nothing left. They fled from their countries with nothing but the clothes on their backs and they need our help.”

Al-Jarrah originally attended a June 2 planning and training session to organize issue-focused events and outreach ideas.

She returned in early September to attend the 2016 College Convention. This event provided a forum for focused discussion on national youth and young adult issues. The group heard from speakers like the California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and host of The Open Mind on PBS, Alexander Heffner. The culminating event included a 90-minute moderated Town Hall meeting.

The delegates also produced a memo to the moderators of the 2016 Presidential Debates that will contain specific questions the College Delegates want the candidates to address.

Those interested can follow the discussion by searching the hashtag #collegedebate16.

“Jana’s experience will help in her development as a student and participant in our democratic society,” said David Dulio, chair of political science. “The discussions surrounding important issues that took place at this event are critical to the development not only of new policy ideas, but an engaged population.”

Al-Jarrah’s participation at College Debate 2016 was supported by the Oakland University Political Science department.

jana al-jarrah at the college debate event
Jana Al-Jarrah makes a point during an outdoor session on Social Justice and Inequality on the campus of Dominican University where College Debate 2016 was held.  (Photos courtesy of Dave Albee, associate director of communications and media relations at Dominican University of California)