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Conference on Ethics, Transparency and Civility at UC San Diego to be Held Oct. 16

Members of Congress, California Legislature and local governments to participate in discourse on youth engagement in politics

Has ethical behavior among public officials declined in recent years? Is there enough transparency in politics? Has civility disappeared in American politics and public life? Have these perceptions led to a society of youth that is politically disengaged?

UC San Diego will host the Ethics, Transparency and Civility Conference on Oct. 16 to examine these issues and more, as part of a series of panel discussions with elected officials, community leaders, faculty and students.

“UC San Diego is gathering together extraordinary minds—including community leaders, elected officials, faculty and students—to spark an important dialogue about engaging our society members, especially students, in political discourse and decisions,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

As part of the conference, three leadership panels will focus on ethics, transparency and civility as they affect our region and beyond, followed by a reception to give students and members of the campus community the opportunity to meet the panelists and discuss the conference topics.

The Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s “2014 Survey of America’s College Students” reported that only 25 percent of college students say they are paying “very” or “fairly close” attention to news about the 2014 elections. The survey also shows that “gridlock between the political parties” concerns 57 percent of students at U.S. colleges and universities.

“Through engaged research projects taking place in San Diego, across California and in developing democracies around the world, UC San Diego professors are collaborating with students to mobilize voters, give them access to information, and keep governments transparent,” said Thad Kousser, professor of political science and one of the discussion moderators. “By bringing together our researchers with community leaders and with students, this conference will advance the dialogue about key issues in the health of our democracy.”

Panelists discussing ethics, transparency and civility as it relates to voter engagement—especially among youth—will include high-profile community leaders and elected officials, including:

  • Congresswoman Susan Davis
  • Congressman Scott Peters
  • Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg
  • Senator Marty Block
  • Assembly Minority Leader Kristin Olsen
  • Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez
  • Assemblymember Adam Gray
  • Assemblymember Brian Maienschein
  • Assemblymember Mary Waldron
  • San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria
  • San Diego City Council Member David Alvarez
  • Richard Barerra, Secretary-Treasurer of San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council
  • Malin Burnham, Chair of Burnham Institute
  • Steven Dinkin, Director of the National Conflict Resolution Center
  • Stephen Ferruolo, Dean of the University of San Diego School of Law
  • Dan Howle, Chair of the California Independent Voter Project
  • Robert Price, Chairman of the Board of PriceSmart, Inc.
  • Sam Schuchat, Executive Director of the California Coastal Conservancy

UC San Diego student panelists will include Robby Boparai, Associate Students (AS) president; Avril Prakash, executive director of the Student Organized Voter Access Committee; and recent UC San Diego graduate and co-founder of By the People, Arshya Sharifian, ’13.

UC San Diego political science faculty members Steve Erie, Fonna Foreman, Alan Houston and Thad Kousser will serve as moderators during the event panels.

The free reception for students and campus community members will take place in Great Hall at 3:30 p.m. For more information, email d2serrano@ucsd.edu or call 858-822-1412.