Campus & Community

Building a Responsible and Knowledgeable Community

By Andrew Lademheim
Staff Writer

If you care about any social or political issue right now, the Network for Responsible Public Policy is the place to be. This organization is dedicated to improving the quality of information that the public consumes.

College students stand to gain the skill to smash through uninformed arguments, and wield rhetorical devices effectively, to take a stand. They will learn the about the pressing issues from a cast of top professionals.

Past speakers included, Joseph Stiglitz, Jonathan Heights and David K. Johnston. The next upcoming presentation is at 7:30 P.M April 18, 2019 in the Wilson Auditorium, hosted by Dr. Joel Cantor. The topic is on universal health care.

The NFRPP has been presenting monthly programs at FDU for years, and is gearing up for a major expansion of its programming. Top issues for students include criminal justice reform, constitutional challenges, income inequality and student debt. This programming gives attendees quality information, with the tools to converse on the issues with refined arguments.

The chairperson of NFRPP, Rhoda Schermer, told The Equinox that the single most important issue for students to confront is fake news. Because NFRPP is focused on better information, the rising phenomenon of “fake news” unsettles Schermer.

“People are getting better at discerning fake news, but does the public care if a story is real or not do facts matter in a democracy?” said Schermer. “Students have several steps to becoming media literate, first, is to have to take time to find out what’s going on, then assess different views and finally determine where they stand.”

Building a useful base of knowledge requires a strong foundation, but Schermer points out that some resources are easily accessible.

“We found that many students do not understand the “isms” (communism, socialism, capitalism), so we are hosting a forum to more clearly explain these concepts. These are complex issues that require nuance,” Schermer continued.

“Our website, nfrpp.org has videos of our past lectures that could be of great help in building the understanding of issues and argument. Consuming information intended to positively inform reveal negativity and bias in other media.”

When asked how students can get involved, Schermer seemed eager to offer several avenues.

“We invite students to attend the events, and learn about these issues, but also to participate in the discussion. NRFPP also has internship opportunities where will be able to build their resume as they help our non-profit to research issues. There are events that take place at other venues as well. We are interested in having students input on which issues to pursue next semester.”

Interest group activism, advocacy for social policy and community building are learnable skills, and the best way to develop competency in skills is to practice.

For more volunteer, intern or research opportunities, contact: Rhoda@nfrpp.org.