ST. GEORGE, Utah — As part of its Freedom Week celebration to promote political engagement among students and community members, Dixie State University is hosting U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch and Congressman Chris Stewart during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the university’s recently established Institute of Politics and Public Affairs.
Set to take place in the middle of Freedom Week on Oct. 19, the ribbon-cutting ceremony will celebrateDixie State’s Institute of Politics and Public Affairs, which is tasked with increasing political engagement on campus and in the community. The event is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on the Gardner Center Patio on the Dixie State campus. In addition to the legislators, St. George Mayor Jon Pike and Dixie State President Richard “Biff” Williams will participate in the ceremony.
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The Oct. 24 to 28 Freedom Week will continue with a special installment of the institute’s bi-monthly Pizza & Politics forum. Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives Greg Hughes will speak at the forum at noonon Oct. 27 in the Gardner Center living room. Pizza Factory will provide lunch. Admission is free, and the public is encouraged to attend.
“Each of our Pizza & Politics forums educate students on a particular issue. This semester, we’ve discussed drug policy, the constitution, and the upcoming presidential election,” Henrie Walton, director of DSU’s Institute of Politics and Public Affairs, said. “In the next few weeks, we’ll talk about public lands and the issue of modern political correctness.”
Freedom Week will also include events geared toward the Dixie State student body, including a voter registration blitz, a screening of “Sandlot” complete with eating contests, photo ops and a patriotic outfit contest for the inaugural Dixie Patriot Award, and the Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat food drive.
“Millennials sometimes don’t realize it, but they care about current issues,” Walton said. “Once they cut through the rhetoric and understand that they can make a difference, their attitudes change and the sky is the limit.”
DSU’s Institute of Politics and Public Affairs is a collaboration among the Dixie State University Student Association and the university’s Government Relations office and the Associate Provost’s Office of Community and Global Engagement. The Institute of Politics and Public Affairs seeks to engage with the Southern Utah region to strengthen civic, cultural and economic life.
“Having an institute of politics at DSU is already adding so much to our campus climate,” Dean of Students Del Beatty said. “It is amazing to see our student body engaged in discussing important topics and learning from the knowledgeable presenters that visit campus.”