Health care, social security and the coast’s economic status were among the topics addressed by Congressman Gene Taylor in an Oct. 5 visit with students at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park campus.
In addition to the town hall meetings Taylor has hosted along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the opportunity for students to meet with the congressman in the classroom provided a greater learning experience.
“His visit likely did much, much more to inspire the students to public service than reading about government or hearing a professor talk about it in the abstract,” said Dr. Mark Wrighton, associate dean and associate professor in the College of Arts and Letters. “The students got the opportunity to see that real, down-to-earth people, who are doing their best to represent the interests of their constituents, make up the government.”
Opening the floor for questions, the students wasted no time asking about Taylor’s position on health care, social security, Afghanistan and the coast’s economic status. The congressman answered each question honestly and gave students a clearer understanding of how Congress works.
“The students had great questions,” said Taylor. “As a political science major, it’s fun to come back and be on the other side of the equation. Hopefully we stimulated some interest in the electoral college.”
In addition to contributing time for students, Taylor also donated an assortment of books to the library at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus. Wrighton, who thanked Taylor for the donation, said the books are instrumental for building the library’s collection during tight budget times.
“As congressman, I’m very fortunate to have publications sent to my office, but I prefer to put the books to good use and donate them to various libraries along the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Taylor.
Taylor, who represents the fourth district of Mississippi, has served in Congress since 1989. The fourth district includes 15 of Mississippi’s 82 counties.
Congressman Gene Taylor addresses a student’s question during an American Government class at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. (Southern Miss photo by Charmaine Schmermund)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu/gulfcoast .