Students encouraged to attend Gubernatorial Forum

Breaking tradition, the 2015 Northshore Gubernatorial Forum will have an interviewing panel of Southeastern and Northshore Technical Community College students for the event. The Forum will be held at Columbia Theatre on Wednesday, September 2, beginning at 8:00 p.m., and admission will be free and open to the public.

The idea to have a student based panel was formed while working with the Question Composition Sub-Committee.

“It made perfect sense to infuse more of the student perspective since students represent the future of our state,” said Southeastern’s Director of Public and Governmental Affairs Erin Cowser.  “We didn’t want this forum to mirror others where the discussions often end up mulling over problems with the past. We want this forum to look toward the future.”

The students who will be on the panel have not yet been announced, but they will be selected through the Student Government Associations and Northshore Technical Community College.

Alum Paul Rivera will be moderating. Rivera is no stranger to public speaking after being named the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters 2015 Student Broadcaster of the Year.

The forum will air live statewide on stations in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport, as well as the Southeastern Channel, where it will re-air at least four times a week leading up to the Louisiana Gubernatorial election on October 24.

A live simulcast at and a live stream on will also be available.

“The person who sits in the Governor’s Mansion makes decisions that dictate the future of higher education in Louisiana,” said Cowser. “A Hammond without Southeastern wouldn’t be the same Hammond.”

Of the four candidates attending, three are members of the Republican Party, while the remaining one is Democratic.

Starting out the republican lineup is former Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana and current Public Service Comissioner Scott Angelle; United States Senator David Vitter; and Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Jay Dardenne.

The Minority Leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives John Bel Edwards, will be the fourth, and only democratic, candidate in attendance. 

Students are especially encouraged to attend the forum to learn more about the election and candidates. It will allow them to hear first-hand what the candidates’ plans as the next Governor of Louisiana would be, and how they would address higher education funding. 

“If they value their ability to attend Southeastern, they should know the plans the candidates have for higher education in the state,” said Cowser.