Upcoming election season offers UT prominent voice

March 27, 2012 | UToday
By Jon Strunk

While the primary election season in Ohio has wound down, campaigns for the 2012 election are as passionate as ever across the nation.

“Ohio is a key battleground state and as a result, we’re going to get more than our share of visits from prominent politicians and their supporters,” said Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president for government affairs.

“The time from now through Nov. 6 represents a tremendous opportunity for The University of Toledo to be a forum and a venue for elected officials and candidates to share their views and for the campus community to get involved in the political process.”

One of UT’s most fundamental values is that of free speech, civil debate and the open expression of ideas, Calzonetti said, encouraging those who invite a political figure to campus to reach out to the Government Relations Office.

“If we know a candidate or elected official will be speaking, we can help increase the visibility of an event as well as help take care of some of the logistical issues that may not immediately come to mind,” he said, highlighting areas such as parking, room reservations, and ensuring that local media are aware of the event.

As an institution, Calzonetti emphasized, UT will not be backing any candidate for office. However, highlighting the breadth and depth of the on-campus conversations that will help shape the democratic process locally, statewide and nationally can only serve to elevate The University of Toledo, he said.

Calzonetti added UT was investigating the possibility of hosting debates as Nov. 6 draws nearer.

“Northwest Ohio is and will continue to be an important part of the national political conversation, and by working together, we can raise the profile of this institution and make our voices count for that much more,” he said.

If you are hosting a candidate or an elected official for an event, contact the Office of Government Relations at 419.530.5529.

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