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Democracy & Debate Theme Semester

This university-wide educational initiative will engage with students, faculty, and staff on an exploration of free speech and exchange of ideas, what it means to be a member of a democratic society, and democratic engagement from a global perspective.

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BIG 10 voting challenge

Your Voice. Your Vote.

Launched in 2017, the Big Ten Voting Challenge is a nonpartisan initiative created to spur civic engagement and encourage more students across the Big Ten to head to the polls on Election Day. Each of the 14 schools within the Big Ten Conference are competing in the challenge.

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Democracy Cafe

Communicate. Learn. Understand

Democracy Cafés celebrate the ability of people to meet in public spaces to exchange ideas, engaging each other both socially and intellectually.

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Featured event

America's Mayors On Crisis And Change

This year has tested mayoral leadership like no other. Join us to learn from four leading mayors how they respond tactically to emergent crises while sustaining progress toward long-term goals.

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Faculty Expert

Michael Traugott

The barrage of ads, as well as the tightening presidential race in (Michigan), may have moved the Senate contest closer. it may also be the result of a shift in tracking registered voters before Labor Day to likely voters heading into the fall. “I don’t think it’s surprising that the race appears to have tightened. Presidential coattails, or headwinds, will also be a factor. In contrast to 2016, Democrats appear more invested in the state."

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a portrait of Angela Dillard
What makes Democracy & Debate distinctive is not only the contributions from across the university, but also the connection to the presidential election season and watch parties for the debates. This gives us the potential to have conversations that span the campus, the state and the globe. We’ve never had a theme semester with this kind of reach.
- Angela Dillard, Professor, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Chair, Presidential Debate Academic Advisory Committee