On Saturday Oct. 20, the College and the Department of Communication will host Jim Gray as part of the Bully Pulpit Series from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Alumni Center, located on 86 Wentworth St. The event is free and open to the public.
Gray, the Libertarian Vice Presidential nominee running alongside Gary Johnson, will lead a discussion with students and community members about presidential communication and important community issues in this town hall style event.
Presidential communication is the study of political public speaking. Chris Piedmont, an intern with the Department of Communication who helped organize the event, explained the significance of this field. He said, “The way these politicians communicate has an impact on how they influence their audiences.” Understanding how factors such as body language and rhetoric affect the candidates’ overall messages is important for audience members who want to make fully informed political decisions.
The goal of the Bully Pulpit Series, a non-partisan event series, is to spark political conversation and interest among students. “We want to get people to really start thinking, ‘Oh my God, this election really does effect me,’” Piedmont said.
With the presidential election fewer than three weeks away, students are increasingly concerned with current issues. Piedmont spoke of the ubiquitous political atmosphere. He said, “You’re talking about it in your classes and through social media, whether it’s sharing memes about binders full of women or big bird.” Hopefully, the event will draw a large crowd this Saturday and will help many people make an informed decision on Election Day.
Before his Vice Presidential nomination, Gray served as a judge on the California Superior Court of Orange County and ran as the 2004 Libertarian candidate for the U.S. Senate from California. In addition to his political career, he is a nationally recognized author and speaker.
Former speakers in the Bully Pulpit Series include Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich. Piedmont spoke to the caliber of the program, saying, “It’s fascinating as a student that we have these people coming to campus. They could be going anywhere, but they’re coming here. It brings a level of prestige to the college.”