Suffolk University, in partnership with the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress and the Kettering Foundation, will host a series of National Issue Forums during the 2011-2012 academic year.

The University received a grant to carry out a series of three public forums to engage citizens in deliberative dialogues on issues of national importance such as the national debt, human rights and immigration.

The first forum "A Nation in Debt: How Can We Pay the Bills?" will take place on Monday, Oct. 3, and, like the forums to follow, will provide a vehicle for students, other members of the community and the general public to participate in “democratic dialogue” about important issues facing our nation.

The "Nation in Debt" forum will include discussion of three options for reducing the U.S. national debt. Students from two Government Department courses will weigh the pros and cons of each option and will try to reach a consensus.

Data gathered from questionnaires at each of the forums will be reported by the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forum at congressional briefings and at the annual "A Public Voice" program on public television.

The National Issue Forums is a nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally sponsored public forums for the consideration of public policy issues. The small sessions of 20 to 30 participants are led by two moderators, and the National Issue Forums provides a framework for the discussion as well as videos and printed discussion guides for participants.

The Moakley Archive and Institute, the Government Department, the S.O.U.L.S. Community Service Center, College Republicans (SuffolkGOP), and the Political Science Student Association are involved in planning the forums.

Two additional forums will be presented in Spring 2012.

For further information, please contact Julia Howington