://tnstatenewsroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/congressman_jim_cooper-1024×682.jpg” width=”595″ height=”396″ /> Congressman Jim Cooper visited the Tennessee State University campus today and discussed politics, life in Washington, and the importance of education with professor Robert E. Pickard’s history class. The 5th district congressman also provided information about internships with is office. (Photo by John S. Cross, TSU Media Relations)
NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – With the political season heating up, a U.S. Congressman recently lectured a group of TSU students on civic responsibility, the role of government and ensuring that the United States remains the best nation in the world.
“Voting is your right; you have earned it, so be sure to exercise that right,” Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) told a packed History class in Crouch Hall. “Do not take your right to vote for granted. There are many around the world who wish they had just a piece of the right you enjoy as Americans.”
Citing the case of his 90-year-old mother, who along with other women and African Americans were at one time not allowed to vote, the lawmaker said the freedom to vote came with a huge price for many.
“People struggle, some died and some got hurt to make possible the right you enjoy today. We know there are roadblocks created by some in your states, local districts and even in Congress to stop you from voting. You must not allow them to hold you back. Register and vote or someone you do not approve of will decide your fate”
Referring to the inactivity of many of his fellow legislators, the 5th Congressional District representative said the current Congress “is going down as a do-nothing Congress” for failing to act on key legislations.
“This Congress is failing in many ways to do the work required of them,” he said. “Even though we just experienced one of the worse droughts in history, we do not have a Farm Bill, something that won easy congressional approval in the past. Not that passage of the bill it is not imperative, but they are more focused on derailment of the government than to do the work they were sent there (Washington, D.C.) to do.
“So, what are you going to do,” he asked the students. “Register and vote; it is your duty; that is how you respond.”
The Congressman’s cautioning did not fall on deaf ear.
“I think the speaker is right. We need to be more active when it comes to making a difference in our country,” said Patrice Kelly, a junior Health Science major from Flint, Mich., who is taking History as required course. “I am a proud registered voter and I am glad to be able to make a difference. And I am going to vote.”
The Congressman offered the students internship opportunities in his Nashville and Washington, D.C. offices.
“But you must be ready to work hard, even though it (the internship) is not for pay. My requirement is that you must have high standards sand be ready for the challenge,” he said.
Robert Elvins Pickard, Adjunct Professor of History, invited Rep. Cooper to speak to his class.
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top Universities in the county by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu
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Motto: Think, Work, Serve Established: June 19, 1912 Type: Public, HBCU Endowment: $41.7 million Chancellor: John Morgan President: Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover Faculty: 431 Enrollment: 8775 Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States Campus: Urban, 500 acres (2 km²) Former names: Tennessee A&I State Normal School for Negroes (1912); Tennessee A&I State Normal College (1925); Tennessee A&I State University (1951); Tennessee State University (1968) Colors: Reflex Blue and White Nickname: Tigers Athletics: National Collegiate Athletic Association Affiliations: Ohio Valley Conference Web site: www.tnstate.edu Phone: 615-963-5000
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