The Charger Blog

Political Science Major Moderator for West Haven Town Hall Forum

Marcin Stankevitch '19, a political science major, was the moderator for the first town hall forum hosted by new West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi in partnership with the University's Mayor's Advisory Commission. Below is his firsthand account of the experience.

April 19, 2018

By Marcin Stankevitch '19, Political Science Major

Marcin Stankevitch '19 at West Haven Town Hall Forum

Organizing and moderating a town hall forum with Mayor Nancy Rossi of West Haven and her staff was a unique experience because it was my first time planning such a meeting. As the chair of the Mayor's Advisory Commission and a part-time member of the Mayor's staff, I have quite a bit of experience planning events.

In the past, I have planned small events such as fundraisers and am currently part of the planning committee for WestFest 2018. But planning an event that would involve local politics, constituents, and, at some points, debate was new to me.

Going into the planning stages and even into the event itself I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the participating citizens. Being a West Haven resident and knowing the politics of the town, I was convinced that there would be some major debates and some potential arguments.

To the credit of everyone involved, the conversation with the Mayor was civil and informative. The entire evening, I believe, was an example of democracy in action.

Being a political science major, I know the importance of political participation. Organizing an event where citizens can participate in government was very important to me and my community. I thank my adviser Dr. Chris Haynes who helped me organize the town hall itself, as it had many moving parts and required a second eye at times.

Organizing this town hall forum was a very good way to apply what I am learning in the classroom. During the planning process, I was working with professionals within city hall and with media outlets to ensure that the event was able to be held and that it was well publicized. As a student, I felt that I was working in the real world to create an event that would have a meaningful impact on my local community.