Forum event provides insight, discussion of social issues

Forum event provides insight, discussion of social issues

by Emily SchettlerStaff Writer

A forum event Tuesday afternoon allowed students to remember, reflect and discuss the events of Sept. 11. The discussion was the first in a series of new forum events known as the Simpson Gabfest.

A panel of Simpson faculty and staff participated in a roundtable discussion about changes that have taken place around the nation and on the Simpson campus since 9/11. The panel included four faculty members with a variety of backgrounds. Nick Proctor, associate professor of history moderated the event.

Discussion revolved mostly around the condition of the U.S., and particularly Simpson College six years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

While the political spectrum has changed greatly on a national level, there hasn’t been any significant change at Simpson, according to John Epperson, professor of political science.

Todd Little, assistant dean of student academic achievement and director of Hawley spoke of the difficulties of obtaining a United States visa since 9/11. If a student’s visa expires while attending school, they must reapply for a new visa if they wish to leave the U.S.

“We’ve heard some difficulties from students indicating that they can get that visa once, but it can be difficult to get that second visa,” Little said. “Often our international students end up staying here in the states all four years. They don’t want to risk going home.” Eduardo Magalhaes, professor of political science, spoke about international travel and how those options have changed for Simpson students. Magalhaes said that some places considered for May Term travel, such as Indonesia, may now be considered more dangerous than six years ago.

There has also been an affect on Simpson students financially. Professor of economics Frank Colella spoke of the effects of war and the price of crude oil on students.

“If the government wasn’t spending money on the war on terror, there’d be a lot more funding for education at all levels,” Colella said. “Prices of all the necessities have gone up. Prices of textbooks are higher. Everything that moves around in this country is more expensive.”

The idea for the event came after two similar events in previous years. Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, a discussion was held regarding the issues surrounding the terrorist attack.

The next Simpson Gabfest will be held on Oct. 4. The discussion will focus on the state of reason in the United States today.