Open Classroom: Your guide to Election 2016


Photos via Flickr


Throughout the fall semester, the Myra Kraft Open Class­room series will explore the choices facing the Amer­ican elec­torate in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial election.

Open Class­room is a semes­ter­long sem­inar series that is free and open to the North­eastern com­mu­nity and the public. The first class of the fall semester is Wednesday night.

The goal is to foster discussion—not focus pri­marily on speeches—and really wrap our heads around what’s been hap­pening here in this elec­tion,” says Christo­pher Bosso, pro­fessor of public policy at North­eastern. Bosso is run­ning the Open Class­room series this semester with Michael Dukakis, Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Polit­ical Sci­ence and the 1988 Demo­c­ratic pres­i­den­tial nominee.

The series will examine the U.S. pres­i­den­tial race from many dif­ferent angles. Here are five things to watch for—and rea­sons to attend:

The can­di­dates and their par­ties
How did we get here? That ques­tion will be the dom­i­nant theme of the first Open Class­room event on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Dukakis will mod­erate, as polit­ical sci­ence pro­fes­sors William Mayer (North­eastern) and Rachel Cobb (Suf­folk Uni­ver­sity) examine the paths both the Repub­lican and Demo­c­ratic par­ties took to nom­i­nate their candidates.

The issues
In the weeks that follow, each class will focus on a spe­cific topic, including the economy and jobs (Sept. 14); glob­al­iza­tion and migra­tion (Sept. 21); secu­rity and ter­rorism (Oct. 5); social issues (Oct. 19); and America’s place in the world (Oct. 26). The Sept. 21 event will be co-sponsored by the university’s civility series—Con­flict. Civility. Respect. Peace. North­eastern Reflects—with North­eastern fac­ulty mem­bers bringing their exper­tise on issues such as immi­gra­tion, iden­tity, and nation­alism. On Oct. 12, the series will partner with the School of Jour­nalism to focus on pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cov­erage by both tra­di­tional and new media.

What stu­dents want
Bosso says the topics dis­cussed throughout the fall semester at Open Class­room will be very rel­e­vant to younger voters, but the Wednesday, Sept. 28, event has been specif­i­cally designed to engage stu­dents and focus on issues of par­tic­ular interest to their demo­graphic. First, Boston Globe reporter Evan Horowitz will present on a topic titled, “What data tells us about mil­len­nials and Gen­er­a­tion Z.” Then, leaders from var­ious stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions will high­light and foster dis­cus­sion on elec­tion issues they care most about.

And the next pres­i­dent is…
The day after the elec­tion, Wednesday, Nov. 9, North­eastern fac­ulty will offer early analysis of what just hap­pened the night before. The fol­lowing week, on Wednesday, Nov. 16, they will offer deeper reflec­tion upon the 2016 election.

Obama’s pres­i­dency
The final three classes of the series (Nov. 30, Dec. 7, and Dec. 14) will focus on Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s legacy. The first of the three classes will cover Obama’s domestic policy, from the economy to race and jus­tice; the second will focus on his for­eign policy; and the series will close with a look at “The America He Leaves Behind.”

All the events will be held on Wednes­days from 6 to 8 p.m., in 20 West Vil­lage F.


Published On: September 6, 2016 |
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