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Crossfire: bringing the world to students

Crossfire
Dr. Carl Cavalli (back left) leads some 20 students in a Crossfire discussion.

The University of North Georgia strives to expose students to issues of national and global importance through their classes as well as more informal activities. Dr. Carl Cavalli, professor of political science at UNG, talks about Crossfire, a program he organized to provide students an opportunity to delve into the topics affecting our country and world.

 

What is a Crossfire Discussion?

It is an open political forum for the UNG community, and an opportunity to engage students and to encourage them to use their knowledge outside of the classroom. We cover local, state, national, and international topics without the worry of grades or assessments. The mission of the Political Science Student Association is in part to "promote knowledge and increase awareness about all things political at UNG." Our Crossfire discussions have been a centerpiece of this mission for 20 years, and we hope to continue for many years to come.

How do these discussions contribute to student success?

A common preface in Crossfire discussions is, "In my government class, I learned that…" This indicates that students are using – and thus, reinforcing – knowledge gained in the classroom. Occasionally, students in my classes preface their discussion with, "In the Crossfire, someone said…" That symbiotic relationship between classroom and Crossfire is the biggest potential contributor to student success.

Why is it important for students to be informed about national and international issues?

Our students represent the next generation of leaders. They are on deck, and everyone's future is in their hands. They will have to address these issues in the real world, and that will occur a lot sooner than any of us realize. If we are going to be in their hands, it is incumbent upon us to make sure they are informed. It is also consistent with the University of North Georgia's mission as a leadership institution, and if we can properly prepare them, our future is secure.

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