Your Vote: What Matters

Your Vote: What Matters


Academic Team:
Steven Beda (
First-Year Experience Seminar Instructor
Alice Lovinger (
FIG Assistant

9 credits
UGST 109 First-Year Experience Seminar - 1 credit

CRN: 16290, M: 3:00pm-3:50pm, PLC 072

HIST 203 American Century - 4 credits

CRN: 12496, MW: 12:00pm-1:20pm, GSH 123, +DIS: CRN: 16202, R: 3:00pm-3:50pm, MCK 471

PS 201 US Politics - 4 credits

CRN: 15907, MWF: 11:00am-11:50am, ALL 221, +DIS: CRN: 15910, R: 1:00pm-1:50pm, PETR 107

About the FIG:

The campaign to decide who will be the President of the United States in 2024 is well underway, and issues of immigration, civil rights, gender, women’s reproductive rights, and economic inequality are once again at the center of both the Republicans' and Democrats' campaigns. Why are these topics so central to American politics in 2024? Why have political debates over immigration, civil rights, gender, and class been so vitriolic in recent years? Is the acrimonious tenor of these debates something new in American politics, or have these topics always enflamed passions and emotions? This FIG will attempt to provide answers to these questions by taking a close look at the 2024 election.   

We will discuss campaign events, the televised debates, and the statements of the candidates to understand what a Republican or Democratic victory might mean for the future of America and all its diverse peoples. We will think about how understanding history and understanding political science can help us make better sense of the world we're currently living in and the future the 2024 election may portend. 

HIST 203 American Century - CoreEd or major satisfying course

This course surveys the history of the United States from roughly the 1890s through the 1980s and beyond, with a focus on social, cultural, and political history. We will follow three major themes that weave their way throughout the modern era: (1) progressivism in American political and social thought, (2) the history of social movements, such as the labor, civil rights, feminist, environmental, and conservative movements, and (3) the rise of the United States as a world power. We will pay particular attention to the experiences of African Americans and Latino(a)s, as well as European Americans, and explore the roles of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and environment in the American experience. Finally, we will emphasize the ways that people have changed history through individual and collective action. This course meets the criteria for multicultural courses because it considers African Americans, Latinos, and European Americans in historical and comparative perspectives. The study of history involves more than the simple mastery of facts. Historians interpret facts and give them meaning, and those interpretations change over time as society and its concerns change and as new evidence come to light. I will emphasize the interpretative nature of history and encourage you to "think historically," to try to see the past through the eyes of those who lived it. This course meets the group satisfying requirements for the social sciences because of its emphasis on broad patterns of history.

PS 201 US Politics - CoreEd or major satisfying course

This course provides an introductory look at the United States and its national system of government. No prior knowledge is required. We will first explore the foundations of American government in the Constitution and the country's unique cultural traditions. We will then explore the different institutions that make up the government in Washington, DC: the president, the Congress, the bureaucracy, the courts, and parties and interest groups. Finally, we will explore the role of the media and the way in which average citizens engage with their government. The primary goal of this course is to make you a more informed observer of and participant in the U.S. system of government. A secondary goal is to give you a sense of the U.S. government's size and complexity, which mirrors the size and diversity of the country it serves. The hope is that this will leave you with a new respect, if it is not already there, for those who choose to serve in government, since it is easy to criticize them until you have seen the challenges they face. Students will gain both written communication and writing skills.

Meet your FIG Assistant and Instructor!