Faculty, Staff, and Students Get Academically Incorrect

The first installment of the “Academically Incorrect” series, sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and Campus Centers (OASCC), drew an enthusiastic crowd of faculty, staff, and students to Mather Dining Hall on November 19. Modeled on the sometimes controversial “Politically Incorrect” television program, the forum offers members of the campus community the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn about topical issues. The OASCC is planning to offer monthly sessions, each on a specific subject of interest, designed to foster intellectual engagement and interaction.         

The initial session was titled “The War in Iraq: Is it over? Who won?” Panelists included Associate Professor of International Studies Michael Niemann, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy Ned Cabot, Student Government Association President Cyriac George, and Resident Adviser Norja Cunningham. Michael Heaney, visiting lecturer in legal studies, moderated the lunchtime event.

With more than 60 people in attendance, the discussion prompted a wide variety of opinions from both audience members and panelists that ranged from cautious optimism to strong opposition. “This was just the first part of what will be an ongoing campus dialogue,” notes Joanne Rafferty, program coordinator for alternative programs.  “I couldn’t be more pleased with the turnout.” The interactions consisted of requests for information, questions to specific panelists, and statements that reflected the opinions of the questioner. 

 “The format worked pretty well,” explains Professor Niemann. “A fair number of students wandered in with their lunch trays and stayed for the duration. It was a useful event, in part because the news has become a steady daily drum beat with little or no analysis, and the panel made it possible for students to get a more analytical perspective.”

The next session of “Academically Incorrect” will take place at the beginning of the spring semester. Anyone with ideas for future topics of discussion should contact Rafferty at (860) 297-2171 or joanne.rafferty@trincoll.edu.         


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