Kozak’s course takes close look at election

Gannon University’s ‘Road to the White House 2012’ class, taught by David Kozak, Ph.D., depicts the 2012 presidential election.

Road to the White House has been a featured class providing the procedures of the election to students since 1972.

The class comes in a series of three — Road to the White House 2012, American Presidency and then Congress in Legislative Process.

American Presidency is offered in the spring and will feature lectures on the new president and his adjustments, while Congress in Legislative Process, a class that Kozak will bring former Congress members in to talk, will be offered next fall.

The classes have changed a lot over the years because of new technology, Kozak said.

“I’ve added more debate viewings together, phone interviews with experts and getting students in on election night internships,” Kozak said.

Speaking with students in the class, they all mentioned how interesting and different Kozak’s teaching is from other teachers.

“Kozak brings in a lot of outside sources,” Ben Feasley, a senior political science major, said.

“He wants everyone’s opinion and he’s unbiased, which shows in his teaching,” Nate Ropski, a sophomore history and political science major, said.

An activity that Kozak sets up for his class is getting phone interviews with political experts.

Tuesday’s phone interview was with Steve Scully, a professor at George Washington University, who answered students’ questions about the election.

Scully has interviewed Bill Clinton among many other famous presidents throughout his career.

“The election can go either way,” Scully said. “Romney will probably pull off a win because the president is below 50 percent of the voters right now.”

Traditionally, undecided and those who can be persuaded vote for the challenger, Scully said.

Kozak knows everyone, so that comes into play when students talk and do phone interviews, Junior Weyeah, a senior political science major, said.

“Since this class, my knowledge has really grown,” Weyeah said. “Kozak is a great teacher because he knows his information.”

On a scale of 1-10 Weyeh, Fearley and Ropski rated Kozak’s class at a solid 11 because of how enthusiastic Kozak is about teaching.

The class can be represented as a congress, Weyeah said.

“We all have our views, and the class is divided in half between Democrats and Republicans,” Weyeh said.

Kozak has hosted numerous presidential events for the students, such as a luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel, debates in the Yehl Ballroom and Jefferson Historical Society’s Global Summit Week Nov. 13-16.

Since Gannon is a Catholic university, Kozak talked about Catholic voters and how they are cross-pressured.

They will vote for Romney because of his view on life components such as abortion, stem-cell research and gay marriage or they will vote for Obama because of the social policies.

No one is undecided on who they want to vote for in the class, Ropski said.

“I was on the wrong side at first I must admit, but now I’m going with Obama,” Ropski said.

On the other hand, Feasley and Weyeah have been on board with President Obama since day one.

“This election is one for the books,” Kozak said.



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