David Kozak, Ph.D., a professor in Gannon University’s political science department, is participating in his 13th election and even he can’t predict the outcome of this year’s presidential election between Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.
At first, the incumbent president was winning without a fight, but “it’s a real tight race with extra innings,” Kozak said. “I do not want to hazard a guess.”
Kozak said he believes close elections are good for the country.
“Let’s let the voters talk,” he said.
Kozak has personally gotten involved with the students at Gannon by viewing the presidential debates together in the Yehl Ballroom of the Waldron Campus Center. On Nov. 6 he will be having an election night party.
He also allows his students to have an active role in classroom discussions.
“My class is surrounded by being a multidimensional classroom,” Kozak said.
Kozak provides a course called “Road to the White House 2012,” where students follow along with the political setting and how the election came down to Romney and Obama.
“I am very impressed with the level of understanding they bring to class,” Kozak said.
As for keeping a neutral stance when in class, Kozak said political science is very dispassionate and is an objective search for different values and beliefs.
“I don’t see my job as being an advocate,” Kozak said.
Kozak suggested that the elections were more important when he was a college student because he and his peers had to worry about the Vietnam War.
Now students are busy and politics are very negative in tone, which turns students off.
Four years ago both Obama and Republican nominee Sen. John McCain came to speak in Erie.
Kozak said that could also be a reason why students were more engaged in the last election.
Student involvement is what makes the future, Kozak said, and therefore it is a person’s civic responsibility to go out and vote.
“I think the 2012 election is embarrassing,” Alex Fike, a sophomore mortuary science major, said.
“Out of a country that has produced some spectacular individuals, we decide on these two to run our country.”
Mike Krysiak, a junior political science major, isn’t a fan of the lengthy procedure of the election.
“It has gone on too long,” Krysiak said.
“I think the campaign process is drawn out and there should be an alternative.”
Kozak seemed split between both candidates.
“I admire Obama, but I think he has a lot of frustrations,” Kozak said.
“Romney has brought executive energy but has made a lot of mistakes and missteps.
“I’ve never voted a president [to a] second term, but I may change it this year.”