After a four year absence from Pacific, the political engagement once fostered by the Tom McCall forum will return in the form of a Tom McCall Center. The Center is planning its first event for spring of 2011.
Politics and government professor and director of the Tom McCall Center James Moore, wants to provide students with the opportunity to engage with policy makers.
Pacific University hasn’t hosted its Tom McCall forum since 2006, largely because the budget wasn’t adequate to pay for the speakers’ high fees. According to Moore, the Tom McCall Forum allowed little opportunity for students to engage with guest speakers.
One of the center’s future benefits will be the interaction between students and the guests on campus. Moore suggested the possibilities of having the speakers stay on campus for a few days, guest lecture, and talk in the evenings before organized dinners. In addition, there will be several events throughout the year with a greater number of speakers.
“We want to get students out into the policy world,” said Moore.
The role of women in public life will be the focus of next spring’s event. Friends of the Forest Grove library will co-sponsor the event and guest speakers will include Oregon’s first female governor Barbara Rogers.
This fall, Moore invited Oregon gubernatorial candidates to campus, but they refused to debate.
At future events, there will be a wide range of viewpoints and guests will present ideas from both ends of the political spectrum.
President Lesley Hallick has made the center part of the Presidential Initiative, according to Moore.
Moore has been partnering with Pacific’s Center for Gender Equity and the sociology department with the goal of making the center campus-wide and involving as many students as possible.
Although there is no physical location yet, Moore and the university are planning on having offices set up for the center next year.
In the future, the center will have work study positions available and provide a venue for students to fulfill the university’s Civic Engagement requirements through work with the center.