FAKE NEWS: What is it? Hows does it affect democracy? How do we avoid it?

Hot Topics logoPlease join us for what promises to be a timely forum on an issue of importance to us as citizens of a democracy.

When: Thursday, March 9th, at 1:00pm
Where: ACC Littleton Campus Library on the 2nd floor of the Main Building.

The format for the event is informal. Our three speakers will provide brief comments on the issue followed by a Q and A for the remainder of the session.

First, Mr. Vincent Carroll will discuss fake news from a journalist’s perspective. Mr. Carroll has been writing commentary on public policy and politics in Colorado for 35 years, after several reporting and editing stints in other states. He was editorial page editor at the Rocky Mountain News for many years until that newspaper’s demise in 2009, when he moved to The Denver Post. When Mr. Carroll retired from full-time journalism in 2016, he was editorial page editor of The Post. He continues to write columns for the paper. Mr. Carroll is the recipient of many writing awards for editorials and columns, as well as a 2014 inductee into the Denver Press Club Hall of Fame.

Next, Mr. Ted Belteau will discuss the impact of fake news on a flourishing democracy.  Mr. Belteau has been an educator for 30 years and is currently an Educational Consultant and a member of the ACLU Speakers’ Bureau. He sees the world as a place that must be safeguarded for future generations and believes strongly that the similarities shared by all members of our society are much stronger than the differences that some use to separate us. Mr. Belteau’s philosophy is quite simple: “love all, serve all.”

The third panelist is our own Ann Priestman, Head Reference and Archives Librarian here at ACC. Ms. Priestman will share tips for becoming a more discerning reader in an era of incredibly inaccurate, widely disseminated, “news.”

Finally, there will be ample time for you, our guests, to ask questions and share your observations. Please join us as we investigate “fake news.”

by Mary Carr, Department Chair – Anthropology, Economics, Political Science & Sociology

Celebrating Democracy

There is another big change in the US of A: a new President. ACC is celebrating democracy in America by getting together for Diversity Dialogues on Monday, January 23 at 1pm in M2720, Littleton campus. Whatever your feelings are about our new President, stop by and engage in a discussion. Diversity Dialogues are a great space designed to allow students, staff, and community members to come together to share their thoughts in a safe environment. If you can’t stop by today, Student Life hosts weekly Diversity Dialogues. Check the schedule for one that works for you.

This year in politics has been one to remember and will definitely go down in the history books. It has been controversial and has raised a lot of questions within our country. When things like this happen, young adults are hesitant to reveal their own views and state what they are truly thinking. We are often told that our votes don’t matter or our views and opinions don’t matter. But I think that is totally backwards.

As upper-education students, I believe that we all have the right to express our own feelings and opinions. In addition to having the right, it is our civic duty. We are the future of the United States (yes, I know that sounds cheesy and you’ve heard it a million times before, but it’s true!). We should all be able to express what we think on a subject, no matter what said subject is. It allows for great conversations and debates, which eventually leads to learning. And that learning leads to us being more sensitive and aware of the world around us.

That is what I like about ACC. It is an open space to share your opinions. Sure, it may cause some debates (some more heated than others), but, hey, that’s the fun part! I am lucky enough to be a journalism major in this very interesting time in America and last semester, my class talked extensively on the subject of politics. My class was divided when it came to talking about the election and it led to multiple passionate debates between class members. And let me tell you, I learned more from those debates than I did in my entire high school civics class. Politics is a fact of life, so you might as well embrace it with open arms and learn from it!

Whether you like President Trump or not, you are able to express your opinions on him. And that is truly what democracy is.

by Ashlyn Stetzel, ACC Journalism Major

Money, Elections, and Government

Washington DC skyline view with Lincoln Memorial, Washington

Washington DC skyline view with Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and US Capitol Building at night

Are you curious about how elections work in the US and how they impact our economy? For example, did you know that the real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) generally increases 24 months prior to an election and falls 21 months after?

We are excited to share an exciting opportunity with you for the Fall 2016 semester: a learning community between ECO 201, Principles of Macroeconomics and POS 111, American Government focused on the Presidential Elections.

While enrolled in these learning community-specific courses, you will learn about how the US government and the US economy works, specifically during and surrounding this election season. You will research and discuss public opinion and citizen participation, political parties, interest groups, the electoral process, and the structure and functions of the national government in POS 111, while you explore the interrelationships among household, business, and government sectors, saving and investment decisions, unemployment, inflation, national income accounting, taxing and spending policies, the limits of the market and government, public choice theory, the Federal Reserve System, money and banking, and international trade in ECO 201.

Wondering how those big campaign budgets impact the economy or why there is so much debate about the next Supreme Court Justice and who gets to appoint the justices? This learning community will allow you to really scrutinize how our government and our economy are interrelated.

Are you ready to delve into the realm of politics and elections? All you have to do to take these linked courses is enroll in ECO 201, section 301, CRN 24621 and POS 111, section 301, CRN 24690.

Some key points to consider include:

  • You must enroll in both classes at the same time.
  • Classes meet on Monday/Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
  • Both classes are in a hybrid format, which means they share a class time slot.
  • Hybrid also means that half the course work is completed outside class…much of this is online.
  • You will receive separate grades for ECO 201 and POS 111 and are expected to do all of the coursework for both classes.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Carr – Chair, Department of Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, and Sociology or Tami Bertelsen – Economics Department Lead.

How Does Our Political Process Compare to Other Countries?

Comparative Government posterAlready tired of the media’s 24/7 coverage of a presidential election that is still nearly a year away?

Sick of paid political ads and phone calls?

Our U.S. presidential election cycle is an incredible two years long. How do other countries choose their leaders? Do they take two years* and spend vast amounts of money?

Come find out…enroll in POS 225, Comparative Government, on Thursdays this spring from 1:00-2:15PM in Room 4130.

* Hint: Great Britain elects their Prime Minister in SIX WEEKS! Imagine – six weeks, beginning to end.

Our Comparative Government course not only addresses alternate methods of choosing leaders but looks at systems of governance, structure, policy development, political socialization and culture for nine key countries in the world today (including China, Great Britain, Germany, Iran, and Russia). Learn to apply political concepts in your every day life to evaluate developments in the world around you…Please join us in POS 225!

For more information about this course and other great Political Science courses, please visit our Political Science page.

by Mary Carr, Chair, Department of Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, and Sociology