In a Republic Does a Citizen Have a Duty to Vote?

Duty to Vote PosterTuesday, October 28, 2014
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.


Dickinson Faculty:
Sarah Niebler, assistant professor of political science
David O’Connell, assistant professor of political science
Thomas Kozdron, class of 2018
Samantha Lodge, class of 2015
Angeline Apostolou (moderator), class of 2015

The 2014 elections will be held on November 4. Do American citizens have a duty to participate in this election? This debate will focus on whether there is such a duty from multiple perspectives.

This event is part of a new series titled Dickinson Debates sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Student Senate Public Affairs Committee.

Biographies (provided by the participants)

nieblersSarah Niebler is an assistant professor of political science at Dickinson College. She studies campaigns and elections, political participation, and political communication and her work is published or forthcoming in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Communication, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and American Politics Research. Prior to coming to Dickinson, Sarah was a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but is a Pennsylvania native having grown up in Gettysburg and attended Muhlenberg College.

oconneldDavid O’Connell is an assistant professor of political science at Dickinson College.  His research interests include the presidency, religion and politics, and American political development.  O’Connell’s research has been published in Presidential Studies Quarterly and his first book, God Wills It: Presidents and the Political Use of Religion, will be released this November.  He received his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University and also holds a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Thomas KozdronThomas (Tommy) Kozdron is currently a first-year student at Dickinson College. He is interested in pursuing a course of study that includes pre-medicine as well as law & policy. On campus, he hopes to get involved with political life and civic engagement. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA.



Best Samantha Image eSamantha Lodge is Student Senate’s vice-president for Student Life and a senior political science and environmental studies double major, with a minor in economics. She is the music director for the Syrens, an active member of Pi Beta Phi, a member of the Political Science Majors Committee, and a TA for the Photo Department.



Dickinson Debates is a new series of debates co-sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Student Senate Public Affairs Committee.  In this series, Dickinson professors and students will debate significant and timely issues that are of interest to the Dickinson community.  If you have an issue that you think should be debated as part of this series, please email your idea to the Clarke Forum at

Video of the Debate