Eleven IUP students traveled to Pittsburgh to attend a
symposium on national security on September 24, 2015.
Some of the students are enrolled in an upper-level
political science course, Dimensions of National Security, taught by political
science faculty Dighton “Mac” Fiddner.
The rest were members of the Political Science Student Leadership
Committee, a student organization for Political Science and International Studies
majors and minors.
The event, the National Security Symposium: Media,
Democracy, and Citizenship, was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. The symposium was designed to emphasize the
role of “media in shaping public opinion and influencing civic engagement
pertaining to contemporary national security issues.”
The IUP students were recognizable through their interest
and relevant, pertinent questions during the event. The students who attended were:
The morning panel discussed the current proposed Iranian
nuclear agreement, ISIS, and European migration crisis. The afternoon panel was devoted to U.S. drone
policy with experts Marjorie Cohen, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law
and author of Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and
Geopolitical Issues, and Dan Simpson, currently Associate Editor at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The symposium was not without controversy as another of the
invited afternoon panelists, Norman Finkelstein, a well-known critic of Israel,
was dis-invited by the university the week before the symposium.