The race for Middletown’s next mayor was up close and personal for Middlesex Community College students over the past few weeks. These students, who are taking the American Government course at MxCC, had exclusive visits to their classroom from two of the mayoral candidates, incumbent Mayor Sebastian Giuliano and challenger Middletown Councilman Dan Drew. During the meetings, candidates gave students an insider’s look at running a major political campaign, discussed issues facing the city, and answered students’ questions.
In addition to the 35 students, each meeting was attended by deans, faculty, and members of MILE (Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education). Candidates were given one hour with the audience, and were able to structure the discussion any way they chose.
The visits were arranged by Tad Lincoln, assistant professor of economics and political science at MxCC. He often invites elected officials or members of past administrations to the classroom to give students a first-hand look at how government really operates.
“The lessons students learn during these visits with candidates are invaluable,” Lincoln said. “Politicians and candidates have information and first-hand accounts of how government works that can’t be taught any other way. I am impressed with how our students interact with all the officials, lobbyists, legislative aides and others who have come to campus over the years – and I think we are developing a reputation as an informed, engaged and challenging audience.”
Founded in 1966, Middlesex Community College (www.mxcc.commnet.edu) is an independent member of the Connecticut Community College System. The school offers more than 50 degree or certificate programs on its main 38-acre campus in Middletown, and at the Meriden Center in downtown Meriden. The college promotes understanding, learning, ethics, and self-discipline by encouraging critical thinking. Current enrollment exceeds 2,950 full and part-time students, and 1,600 continuing education students.
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