Civic Engagement discussion for students

Oswego State’s Civic Engagement team will be holding a discussion panel titled “Know Your Rights.”

The event will be held in Campus Center room 132, the auditorium, on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Graduate Assistant for Civic Engagement Jon Zella has worked to gather a panel of Oswego State officials who can talk about students’ rights, both on campus and in the community.

“When I was coming up with events for the semester and we were putting together a Constitution day and civil liberties, I kind of thought about what the school does, or doesn’t do, to educate students on that,” Zella said. “I know that Johnson Hall does something and Lisa Evaneski does a great job in that, but I wanted to make this a lot bigger. I wanted to tie this in with the community and make people more aware or students more aware of what kind of happens off campus.”

Zella said that he watched a video on YouTube that made him start to generate ideas for this discussion.

“There’s a thing called Flex Your Rights where it kind of talks about your rights as a citizen and different things that I think people weren’t totally aware of,” Zella said. “Certainly things I wasn’t aware of.”

The panel will consist of Lisa Evaneski, Title IX coordinator and associate dean of students for the new Student Conduct and Compliance office, David Roman, a retired judge, Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes, Assistant Chief Kevin Velzy of University Police and Zach Mistxal of the Oswego Police Department. Francisco Perez of the Political Science Club will be moderating the panel.

Zella has come up with questions for the panel to discuss and has taken questions that Oswego State administrators are often asked. Students will also be encouraged to ask questions.

“There will also be a Q and A for the audience, which is why I’m hoping that people will show up,” Zella said. “I don’t want to talk about just what we put together that the professionals want to be explained, I want students to come up with their own questions.”

Zella also said that this is a great opportunity for students to meet those who work with these issues in the community. It will also help enlighten students.

“It’s one thing to know you’re breaking a law versus being very oblivious to what’s going on, not that they should do it either way but to be more conscious is to be a better community member,” Zella said.

Student Association will also be involved in the event to tell students where they can go to voice their concerns for policies, as well as how they can even go about making changes. Zella hopes the event will be informative for students.

“To really understand the big words, the litigious vernacular, it’s tough, you’re not just going to understand that,” Zella said. “This is an opportunity to ask questions.”