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Loyola to host mayoral forum on corruption

Loyola press release - January 4, 2010

How do the major mayoral candidates plan to combat political corruption and restore trustworthy, transparent government in New Orleans? This question will be the topic of discussion during Loyola University New Orleans’ Mayoral Forum on Corruption on Friday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. The forum, co-sponsored by the Loyola Society for Civic Engagement and New Orleans CityBusiness, will be moderated by WWL-TV anchor and reporter Katie Moore and takes place in Roussel Hall on Loyola’s main campus. The event is open to the public.

In addition to the LSCE, several other student groups energized by the unprecedented role of young voters in the 2008 presidential election will be involved with the event. These include the Loyola Community Action Program, the Black Student Union, College Republicans, the International Students Association, Loyola Life, Loyola Students for Liberty, Greek Life, the University Honors Program, the Department of Residential Life and the Center for Intercultural Understanding.

According to Alex Fournet, co-chair of LSCE, the student organizations decided to capitalize on the momentum of the mayoral race to hold future leaders of New Orleans accountable for an ethical and transparent city government.

“Government inefficiency and corruption have been the main elements holding New Orleans' recovery back." Fournet said. “We should be able to hold our government accountable, and when we are able, it will aid New Orleans’ growth.”

New Orleans CityBusiness Managing Editor Greg LaRose agreed.

“New Orleans residents have made the connection between transparent government and its effect on corruption,” LaRose said. “Our publication is honored to take part in a forum devoted to bringing additional clarity and public access to city government.”

Loyola President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., chairman of the New Orleans Ethics Review Board, will open the event. Moore will moderate the discussion, asking candidates a series of questions posed by the student groups, CityBusiness and the live audience. Each candidate will be allowed an opening and closing statement to outline his or her plan.

The LSCE is a chartered, non-partisan organization at Loyola University that strives to engage students and community members alike in political discourse. LSCE faculty adviser Roger White said LSCE members are dedicated to changing the city.

“Whether Democrat or Republican, these students are part of a powerful, special breed: young people who have chosen to spend their college years in New Orleans even after witnessing the devastation of Katrina and the political and civic legacy it wrought,” said White.

For more information on the forum, contact Catherine Koppel at (504) 861-5448 or ckoppel@loyno.edu, or Meredith Hartley at (504) 861-5883 or mhartley@loyno.edu, in the Office of Public Affairs.