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Pizza and Politics takes a look back

Throughout the 2013-14 school year, the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service has hosted Pizza and Politics every Wednesday, where students could eat pizza and engage in discussions about current events happening in the world.

Though Pizza and Politics has ended for the 2013-14 school year, looking back at the topics discussed at the event can bring a sense of accomplishment to those who have assisted with the event.

Eric Kirby, executive director of the Leavitt Center, said the topics discussed this year in Pizza and Politics were more controversial than they have been in previous years.

“We took on meatier topics,” Kirby said. “We didn’t shy away from anything this year. We took on same-sex marriage, abortion, euthanasia, federal lands, immigration, gun control and a bunch of other heated issues that need to be discussed.”

Kirby said one of his favorite memories from Pizza and Politics this year was when students discussed the legalization of marijuana.

“I loved when our fellows brought out brownies after the marijuana debate that we had,” Kirby said. “I thought that was pretty comical.”

Mack Damavandi, a senior mathematical science major from Cedar City and a member of the Executive Council, said he helped put together and moderate the Pizza and Politics about the United States involvement with Syria and the legislative review discussion this year.

Delaney Glazier, a freshman chemistry major from Kanab and fellow with the Leavitt Center, said her favorite memory from Pizza and Politics was when the Leavitt Center was advertising for the animal rights discussion.

“My favorite part was when Kirby, Jordan (Cox) and Paige (Gunn) dressed up as animals for the animal rights day and came and danced during Pizza and Politics,” Glazier said. “That was prime.”

Matthew Brown, a junior mathematical science major from Springville and fellow with the Leavitt Center, said he loves having Pizza and Politics in the middle of each week.

“I am glad that it is every Wednesday because you get to hump day and you just want to look forward to something,” Brown said. “I really enjoy being able to look forward to Pizza and Politics each week.”

Kirby said the Leavitt Center also successfully hosted Pizza and Politics at Canyon View High School, so the Center plans on reaching out to other high schools in the area to host the event during the 2014-15 school year.

“We are going to continue to branch out our Pizza and Politics, which will help recruit for SUU, hopefully, but also get the students excited about being a college student when they come here,” Kirby said.

Brown said he went to help with hosting Pizza and Politics at Canyon View and it was a success because of how well the discussion of the topics went with the high school students.

“We were really impressed with how the high school students participated and with the information that they brought to the table, because we didn’t expect that from them,” Brown said.

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