Democracy 101: A Series of Critical Conversations

This series of co-curricular lectures, panel discussions and workshops focuses on the idea and practice of democracy. 

We welcome faculty, staff, students and community partners to present. Possible topics may include: student activism, how to run for office, the history of social movements, democratic values, the idea of commons, student civic development, the role of media in a democracy, how to organize for social change, and more!

All sessions are INT 100/201 approved!

Fall 2020 Schedule





September 16

1920-2020: Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Voting Rights

The 19th Amendment has been praised for a century about being a landmark for women’s rights. However, this change didn’t apply to everyone. Who gained the right to vote and who didn’t? What can you do to shape the next 100 years? Join us for presentations and remarks by GVSU President Philomena Mantella, MI Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, and more.


Check out the recording of this session here:

Online via Zoom


6-8 p.m.

September 23

How to stay on top of Information in the Media

Join us for an interactive panel about how to best research information on candidates, navigate your way through a media craze, and learn more about various aspects of the media.

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

September 30

Student Senate Panel

Learn about Student Senate and how you can make a change on campus about the things you’re passionate about.

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

October 7

Election Security: Does my vote really count?

Join us to learn about Voter Suppression today and how your vote makes an impact. 

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

October 14

Issues and Proposals on the Ballot

Join CEEP, CVP and the CSLC for an informational session about the different issues and proposals on the ballot nationwide. Also learn about how you can research your specific ballot and county wide initiatives.

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

October 21

First Time Voter Seminar and Vote Early Day

Never cast a ballot before? Don’t worry. Join the CSLC, the Ottawa County Clerk’s Office, and CEEP fellow Sam Jacobs to learn everything you need to know about voting in person or by mail.

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

October 28

Engagement beyond the Election

Join us to hear from the CSLC, CDEC, and Kayla Sosa answer what YOU can do beyond voting, what we can do for our communities, what advocacy looks like to you, how to participate in local elections, and more!​​​​​​​

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

November 4

Post Election Town Hall Series: Part 1

Part 1 of a two-part series to unpack and understand what is going on after the presidential election. What happened last night in politics and what does it mean for the future?

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

November 11

Post Election Town Hall Series: Part 2

Final part to a two-part series understanding the election results. This will be a workshop  with other students in a collaborative brainstorming session to join forces and make a change.

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

November 18

Mental Health and Politics

The holidays are stressful for everyone, and many people feel high-anxiety before big family events. In this meeting we will explore problems some people face during the holidays, coping strategies, and how to redirect and defuse discussion. Hosted by Caroline Murray, the LGBT Resource Center and the CSLC. 

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

December 2

Civil Dialogue

A session to encourage productive conversations and challenge people to think critically about issues facing our community and nation.

Online via Zoom

6-8 p.m.

Check out photos from our past events!

Panelists from our Youth Political Engagement panel

Panelists from our youth political engagement panel discussion pose for a picture after their session. 

A full room of students listen in on a panel discussion about PFAS in Michigan.

Students listen in on an important panel discussion on PFAS in Michigan. 

Relando Thompkins-Jones speaks to a group of students about the importance of free speech and inclusion.

Relando Thompkins-Jones joined a panel of GVSU faculty and staff to speak to a group of students about the importance of free speech and inclusion. 

Mindy Holohan speaks to students about media literacy

In an interactive session on media literacy, Mindy Holohan joined GVSU student Jane Johnston and GVSU Librarian Elizabeth Psyck in sharing skills and lessons on the topic. 

Students and local officials gathered to talk about strategies for young women in leadership positions at Elect Her.

At 'Elect Her,' students and local officials gathered to talk about strategies for young women in leadership positions. 

Have an Idea for a Democracy 101 Event?

Do you have a question about democracy, civic life or student democratic participation that you would like to explore?

Are you interested in presenting or facilitating a workshop or a conversation about a current public issue?

Do you have an idea or a project that promotes civic life and democratic participation that you would like to share?

If so, please share your idea with us at (616) 331-2348 or

Past Democracy 101 Event Recordings

Didn't make it? Don't worry - you can still dive in to Democracy 101 by watching the videos below!

The Mythology of the American Dream

Democracy and the American Dream

Student Media and Democratic Engagement



Why Democracy Needs the News

Human Rights and the Promise of Democracy

Media Literacy and You

PFAS in Michigan

Educating Toward Direct Democracy

Hitler's Rise to Power