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Civic Forum Event Draws Large Community Attendance

Colorado Mesa University's Civic Forum recently hosted a significant discussion focused on the Middle Eastern crisis, specifically addressing the situation in Israel and the broader regional turmoil. The event, "Terrorism, Israel, and the Palestinians: Why is Peace so Elusive?," drew an audience of approximately 500, including students, faculty, staff and community members. This turnout marked one of the forum's most significant attendance to date.

CMU President John Marshall, who moderated the discussion, emphasized the quality of the discourse.

"I am honored to have moderated a conversation crucial to global understanding," Marshall said. "The level of civility and respect shown here speaks volumes about our community's commitment to thoughtful dialogue."

The panel featured a blend of academic and professional expertise:

  • Doug O'Roark, PhD, Professor of History
  • Tim Casey, PhD, Professor of Political Science
  • Holly Oberle, PhD, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Dan Leshem, PhD, Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council

Casey, a long-serving member of the CMU faculty and an integral part of the Civic Forum's development, contributed his political insights to the discussion as the forum not only offered an expanded perspective on the Israel-Hamas conflict, but also underscored Colorado Mesa University's dedication to fostering global understanding and peace.

"On such an emotionally charged and important current topic such as the conflict between Israel and Hamas, it is important to take the time to inform ourselves on the historical, geographic, political and cultural context of the event so that we can better understand what is happening beyond all the background noise and images that flood the media around this conflict," said Casey. "Our dialogue through the Civic Forum offered an opportunity to gain that context. It speaks to the value offered by an Institution of Higher Education such as CMU not just to the students that study here, but to the community as a whole."

In a broader context, the CMU Board of Trustees also demonstrated solidarity with Yeshiva University by signing a statement of support alongside other educational institutions, reinforcing the university's position as an important part of regional and global civic dialogues.


Written by David Ludlam