Davis & Elkins College Students to Participate in Democracy Symp - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Davis & Elkins College Students to Participate in Democracy Symposium

Posted: Updated:

Students at Davis and Elkins College are in their winter term right now but this year's freshman class is participating in a new experience on campus.

For the first time this year, freshmen at Davis & Elkins College will spend three weeks learning about and living the democracy that runs our country.

They gathered in the Halliehurst Mansion Friday to share what they've learned over the week, as they discuss and research different issues affecting the country. Next week they'll debate those points as they take part in a mock state legislature, playing the parts of delegates and senators. College organizers said the new program is a great way to get students personally invested in our government and our country.

"It's experiential, it's hands-on, it's very dynamic, and its sort of a multifaceted approach for students to learn about all the different ways that democracy affects our lives," said Amy Jones, who is part of the college staff leading the symposium.

The symposium goes past your basic civics class, and goes into greater detail on the finer issues. That's something officials said students are not aware of as they arrive at college.

"There's been a spate of reports and articles over the past couple years calling upon colleges and universities to take up this task. The reality is that democracy doesn't work without knowledgeable and engaged and active citizens," said Davis & Elkins vice president of Academic Affairs Joseph Roidt.

And at Davis & Elkins, that may be changing. Freshman Rachael Nelson has been taking part in the symposium, and she said she's more encouraged than ever to be active in our democracy.

"Just because you're young and just because maybe you haven't voted as many years as your parents, that doesn't mean your voice doesn't have validity. They've emphasized that we're all very intelligent and that it's up to us to go out and make those political decisions," said Davis & Elkins freshman Rachael Nelson.

There's plenty more to come for Davis & Elkins' freshman class. They'll gather again on Monday and break into committees before convening as a mock legislature next Friday.