School of Education News

UW-Madison alum Olikara challenges students to be engaged in politics

September 26, 2017
Steven Olikara, a 2012 graduate of UW-Madison and the founder and president of the Millennial Action Project, delivered a lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 19, focused on what public universities and college students can do to help restore a more functional governing system, through civic engagement and active ​community involvement.

Steven OlikaraThe event was hosted by the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE) and cosponsored by the Department of Political Science and the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Olikara noted the importance of colleges and universities ​as training grounds for ​the next generation of leaders. "This is a living laboratory for leadership," he said​, and institutions of higher education should ​ensure they are creating space to model constructive civil discourse​ on campus.

Olikara​ also encouraged students to listen to points of view that may be different from their own. “It’s very important that we have a variety of views represented on campus," he said. "When you hear another viewpoint, you are sharpening your own view​."

Video from Olikara's talk is available on the WISCAPE YouTube channel. It was covered in the Badger Herald.

Olikara also spoke with legislative staff in a morning talk at the Capitol, cosponsored by Rep. Dave Murphy's office.

Olikara was in Madison to launch the Wisconsin Future Caucus, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers under 40 who will work to find common ground on issues of importance to younger voters.

WISCAPE is housed within the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in UW-Madison's School of Education, and "supports the pursuit, sharing, and implementation of promising ideas for addressing fundamental challenges in postsecondary education in Wisconsin, the United States, and internationally."


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