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‘Talk the Vote!’ Urges Cool Heads on Hot-Button Topic

Ryan D. Beardsley Sandra Lakey Donald Noviello Robert O. Rolley Jr. Jonathan Williamson With but a weekuntilan end to one of the most contentious presidential elections in history, the Madigan Library’s “Talk the Vote!”participants urged a return of civility and a respect for diversity in our personal/political discourse. Panelists were Ryan D. Beardsley, a mass media communications student and host of “Take a Stand: The Importance of the Youth Vote” on Penn College’s WPTC radio station, whoencouraged students to cast aside apathy and instead cast an informed and responsible vote for their respective candidates; Sandra Lakey, who, from her position as associate professor of speech communication/composition at the college, conditionally championed debate and disagreement “Argue with passion, but do it with respect, then respond with logic, evidence and reasoning to make your point;” Donald Noviello, a tutor and part-time faculty member in history/sociology/political science, who challenged the electorate to “use its citizenship wisely,” remaining diligent, visible and vocal beyond the one-day exercise of voting; Robert O. Rolley Jr., interim publisher of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, who noted that present-day campaigns have nothing on the venom and divisiveness of the republic’s earliest elections, but who nonetheless fears a disintegration of “integrity and independence of thought;” and Williamsport City Councilman Jonathan Williamson, chair of the Lycoming College political science department, who urged students to become critical thinkers about the information that candidates provide. “Sort out fact from emotion to find the truth that is most relevant to you,” he said. “Go beyond the individual campaigns, both the ones you support and the ones you don’t, and gain your own perspective.” Matthew David, assistant director, library services, moderated the event, which was held in the second-floor reading loft.

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