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Spring 2009 

The American Democracy Project is involved in a Deliberative Polling Project the 2008-2009 academic year.

Topic: Alcohol Abuse
Deliberative Polling Events:
Sunday March 8, 2009  - Phone surveys begin
Saturday April 25, 2009  - Ten focus/discussion groups

Questions? Please contact ADP committe chair & Deliverative Polling coordinator Kara Lindaman, WSU Political Science Professor at

WSU News Release (February 28, 2009)  -WSU Presents Deliberative Polling Project -

WINONA, Minn. (WSU-UC) – Winona State University is one of 14 higher educational institutions participating this spring in a deliberative polling project sponsored by the American Democracy Project.

 In conjunction with the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, the American Democracy Project at WSU will conduct a survey in March of Winona residents on the issue of alcohol abuse. On April 25, respondents will be invited to attend a day of deliberation in which they will discuss the issue in small, moderated groups and ask questions of expert panelists.  Meals and refreshments are served with an opportunity to win door prizes.

During the first and second weeks of March, more than 90 students will call randomly-selected Winona residents. The sample is drawn both of the general Winona resident population, which includes off-campus student housing, and then a separate random sample of on-campus students

Project leader Kara Lindaman, a professor of political science at WSU, explained the significance of the process of deliberative polling.

“Deliberative polling has shown a statistically significant increase in information gain and attitude formation on salient and complex public problems suchissues such as alcohol,” Lindaman said. “WSU selected alcohol abuse because it is an important issue to both the campus and Winona communities.”

“Participants are invited to campus to engage in this participatory style of democracy in order to encourage this process of deliberation in the discussion of future complex public problems facing the Winona community,” she said. “It is the hopes of the American Democracy Project that public colleges and universities become the venue for valuable discussions and active democracy can occur.”

For more information about deliberative polling, visit the Center for Deliberative Democracy:

For more information about WSU’s deliberative polling project, call Lindaman at 507-457-5406 or e-mail:

The American Democracy Project (ADP) is an initiative of 219 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) campuses that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled at institutions that are members of AASCU. The goal of the project is to produce graduates who understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy.

This project uses the definition of civic engagement proposed by Thomas Ehrlich and his colleagues in Civic Responsibility and Higher Education: 

“ Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.” (Preface, page vi)

“ A morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore considers social problems to be at least partly his or her own; such an individual is willing to see the moral and civic dimensions of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments, and to take action when appropriate.” (Introduction, page xxvi).

--Quoted from the ADP website


Last Modified: Friday, March 06, 2009 12:56

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