The School of Communication & Multimedia Studies spearheads and coordinates Florida Atlantic University’s membership and participation in the American Democracy Project.
Developed by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in collaboration with The New York Times, the American Democracy project is a "multi-campus initiative to create intellectual and experiential understandings of civic engagement" for our undergraduate students. The project has two goals:
- To increase the number of students who are informed about and committed to engaging in meaningful civic actions as members of a democracy;
- To call policymakers’ and opinion leaders’ attention to the civic value of a college education.
The FAU American Democracy Project features the American Democracy Project Student Club. The ADP Student Club works with the FAU American Democracy Project faculty, the School of Communication & Multimedia Studies, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, and the administration to promote the objectives of the American Democracy Project. Todd Ericson, one of the student leaders of the ADP Student Club, writes, “The American Democracy Project Club is a bi-partisan student effort to create a community of free speech and open discourse at FAU in a respectful environment. The ADP is a vehicle to help students express their opinions and raise consciousness on relevant civic issues. As students, citizens in a democracy, and future leaders it is our civic duty to take action and stand up for what we believe in. Members of the ADP acquire practice in organizing events, speaking out publicly and engaging in meaningful discussion that is relevant to all areas of their lives.” In the fall of 2005, FAU sponsored Ericson and graduate student Deandre Poole at the first conference of the American Democracy Project South regional association in Atlanta, where they made a presentation about FAU’s American Democracy Project.
The School of Communication & Multimedia Studies’ American Democracy Project initiatives include the following:
- Speakers' Corner Debates each semester presented by argument and debate students
- Civic Engagement projects presented by public communication majors
- Participation in the national Presidential Debate Watch program
- Participation in regional and national American Democracy Project conferences
- Home of Controversia: An International Journal of Democratic Renewal
- Host of Dissent and Democracy Symposium (2005)
- Host of the South Florida regional workshop on Civic Engagement in Higher Education sponsored by the American Democracy Project and Florida Campus Compact (March 2006)
- Host of the Wake Forest Bi-Annual Argumentation Conference (February 2006)
- Student and faculty participation in American Democracy Project regional and national conferences
The American Democracy Project is located at www.aascu.org/programs/ADP/