Camarillo, Calif., Aug 30, 2012 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) will host two veteran former U.S. Congressmen for two days of rare access, discussion and debate during “Congress to Campus,” Monday, Sept. 17, and Tuesday, Sept. 18. 

Former Representatives John Porter (R-Ill.) and William Brodhead (D-Mich.) will meet with students, faculty and the community, and share their real-life experiences and insights during class visits and a public forum.  Over the course of two days, the former Congressmen will speak to eight classes in subjects ranging from political science to chemistry, meet with more than 600 students, and interact with the public at a moderated community forum in the Petit Salon on the CI campus, Monday, Sept. 17, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.  The events are part of CI’s Constitution Day celebration.

“Congress is consistently misunderstood and universally disliked,” said Political Science Professor and event co-organizer Sean Kelly.  “Students and the public are getting the wrong message about what Congress can accomplish and how it works.  “Congress to Campus” provides an eye-opening and view-changing opportunity for students and the public to have a dialogue with former members of Congress about how policymaking affects them.”

The “Congress to Campus” program is an effort by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress to improve college students’ understanding of Congress and American government and encourage them to consider careers in public service.  The program sends bipartisan pairs of former Congressional members – one Democrat, one Republican – to campuses around the country for classes, forums, and frank discussion.

“Students and community members will be able to get beyond the partisan rhetoric to see two smart people who care deeply about our country,” said Professor Scott Frisch, Chair of the Political Science Program.  “My hope is that students and community members will leave the sessions with more faith in our government and the people who serve them.”

Porter spent 21 years as a Republican U.S. Representative for the 10th District of Illinois, and served on the Appropriations Committee and as Chair of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, among other roles. 

Brodhead, a Democrat, was the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 17th Congressional District from 1975 to 1983.  He served on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees and also chaired the Democratic Study Group, which was then the liberal caucus in the House.

Limited free public parking will be available for the Sept. 17 public forum.  Please follow signs for the event.  Additionally, free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road parking lot in Camarillo with bus service to and from the campus.  Riders should board the CI Vista Bus to the campus; the cash-only fare is $1.25 each way. Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.  For exact times, check the schedule at www.goventura.org.

For more information, contact Professor Sean Kelly at 805-437-3309 or sean.kelly@csuci.edu, or Professor Scott Frisch at 805-437-2770.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.

The California State University (CSU) will reach a significant milestone of 3 million alumni during commencement in spring 2015 and has launched the world’s largest yearbook. The Class of 3 Million online yearbook is an interactive platform where alumni can create a profile and connect with the millions of other alumni from the 23 CSU campuses across the state. Alumni who sign up for the yearbook will also be entered into a special contest to win one of three $10,000 scholarships for a current or future student, sponsored by Herff Jones. For more information about the yearbook and the Class of 3 Million, visit https://classof3million.calstate.edu/