Government classes participate in broadcast


Early Monday morning, Professor Brad Bannon’s Government 110 (Introduction to American Democracy) classes were provided the opportunity to attend and serve as an audience to a broadcasting of “The Jeff Santos Show” live from Suffolk University.
With the show normally broadcasting weekday mornings from 7 to 10 a.m., these students were allowed special access to the legislature and other figures, all recorded live from the facility room of 73 Tremont. The show featured individuals like State Senator Sonia Chang Diaz, Joan Vennochi, a columnist for The Boston Globe, and state representative Frank Smizik.
“I see this as not only another different way to expose the students of my Government 110 class to politics, but also to get them excited about it,” said Bannon.
Representative Frank Smizik, chair of the environmental committee, discussed topics like green energy, green jobs, keeping a clean environment and global warming. Also present was Senator Sonia Chang Diaz, who discussed topics like education and the current casino gambling bill. Others involved include Joan Vennochi, who called into the show from The Globe to discuss the current presidential race. Vennochi also teaches courses here at Suffolk University.
The event allowed Bannon’s government students to see politicians at work first hand. Although Government 110 presents itself as an introductory course, students deal with out-of-classroom experiences and thought provoking lessons, being able to share their own thoughts and opinions on the topics. After speaking with students following the broadcast, Bannon was pleased to learn that his students enjoyed spending the class period asking questions and seeing state legislatures respond live to their questions.
“The students tend to see the state senators and political figures on a cloud somewhere. By giving them the opportunity to see politicians face to face, the students have the chance to see that they are just regular people representing them in legislature,” said Bannon.
Bannon tries to find different ways to get involved students in the world of politics and enjoys engaging them in the class by discussing current events throughout the semester.
The students involved in the class also participate in a number of activities and volunteer work, which is a requirement for the course. The majority of the students enrolled in the Government 110 class volunteer their time and service to No One Leaves Home, a project developed by the S.O.U.L.S. office, which allows students be involved with helping families keep their homes after being foreclosed by banks. Students are also involved in other volunteer work with the mayor of Everett and the Marshfield School District. After the students complete their volunteer service requirement, they are expected to write a short paper detailing what was learned from their volunteer experience.
“The more opportunities the students have to get involved and engaged is a better learning experience than me standing around and lecturing all the time,” said Bannon. “We have several communication majors in the class and they enjoyed being a part of the live radio broadcast. There really was something for everyone.”
The special edition episode of “The Santos Show” was encouraged as an opportunity to involve Suffolk University after learning news of a college tour that the radio station was partaking in.