Center for Civic Engagement

Public Square Program

The Public Square project is a public discussion initiative aimed to:

  1. Involve the campus and extended community in civil discussion of critical issues,
  2. Consider issues on local, regional, national and global levels, and
  3. Reclaim the tradition and art of public discourse.

Students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome to attend and participate in all Public Square events. The CCE also welcomes new topics and ideas, so if you have a forum topic, email us! Visit the WSU Library Guide on the Public Square Initiative for more information.

What is a Public Square?

A public square is an open discussion where citizens, experts, and leaders come together to share their thoughts and opinions on a topic. At WSU, the CCE's Public Square program aims to connect WSU students, employees and community members through discussion on important issues that impact us all. All Public Square events are free, open to everyone, and everyone is welcome to share their thoughts on the discussion topic in a respectful way.

Live Streaming for Global Campus Students

Public Square discussions are live streamed and recorded on the CCE YouTube channel. You do not need a YouTube account to watch a live streamed video, but you do need an account to participate in the discussion. The recorded video will be available on the CCE channel immediately after the event concludes for those who were not able to view the live stream.

To participate in the discussion, Global Campus students should use the YouTube chat feature included in the live stream. Students need a YouTube account to participate in these discussions. Your first step for creating a YouTube account is to create a Google account. You may already have a Google account if you use Gmail, Blogger, or a number of other products.

Once you have a Google Account, you will next need to create a YouTube channel so you can comment on the live stream. If you already have a YouTube channel, you can use it to chat in the live stream, or you can create a second channel and keep your original channel private.

2016–2017 Events


  • October 20, 2016 | WSU Student Election Debate

    Time: 7 PM – 8 PM
    Location: CUB Butch's Den

    With the US national election fast approaching on November 8, ASWSU Pullman and the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) invite students, faculty, staff and community members to a WSU student debate between representatives of the College Republicans and Young Democrats. This exciting event will take place on October 20 at 7 PM PST and will be live streamed on the CCE’s YouTube channel. The debate will focus on human rights issues and party platforms. Panelists will provide opening statements and a moderator will facilitate a debate that invites questions from the audience. Global students can participate in this discussion by using their personal YouTube account. For instructions on creating an account or creating a second account for academic use, click here. Learn more about the Public Square program online at Visit for more Cougs Vote events and information.

  • November 16, 2016 | Poverty Awareness Week Discussion

    “Why don’t you just…?” A Public Square Discussion on Poverty

    Time: 3 PM – 4 PM
    Location: CUB Butch's Den

    Poverty is a complex issue, and easily misunderstood by those who haven’t been affected by it. In fact, poverty can intensify already difficult life situations, such as unemployment and domestic violence.

    On Wednesday, November 16 at 3 PM in Butch’s Den, join a discussion led by Amber Morczek, a WSU PhD Candidate, and Ben Calabretta, the Associate Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, to learn more about issues facing those in poverty, and how we can begin to address them.

    Pullman students should register for this event on CougSync. Global Campus students can join the discussion on CCE’s YouTube channel. Public Square discussions are free and open to the public.

  • January 19, 2017 | MLK Jr. Day Status of the Dream Panel

    "Status of the Dream: Does Freedom Ring?"
    Time: 3 PM – 4 PM
    Location: Butch's Den

    On August 28th in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his defining “I Have a Dream” speech, speaking of his dream that America would rise up that live out the true meaning of its creed “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal”. What progress have we, as a nation, made in achieving this dream? 

    Come to Butch's Den (CUB L60) to the CCE Public Square to discuss the status of the dream from a diverse panel, and to find the answer to the question, “Does Freedom Ring?”

    Pullman students should register for this event on CougSync. Global Campus students can join the discussion on CCE’s YouTube channel. Public Square discussions are free and open to the public.

  • March 11, 2017 | Tacoma Rendezvous Discussion

    Democratic Engagement Action
    Time: TBD
    Location: Main Ballroom

    This Public Square discussion will explore social and environmental issues attendees are interested in becoming more involved with. We will then discuss how to become more democratically engaged in our communities.

    This event will take place at the annual Global Campus Tacoma Rendezvous event and will not be live streamed.

    Please note that the Tacoma Rendezvous event is for Global Campus students only, and so this Public Square is only open to Global Campus students, their guests, and faculty/staff attending Rendezvous.

  • April 12, 2017 | Cougs VOTED! Now What?

    Time: 3 PM – 4 PM
    Location: Butch's Den & YouTube

    A record number of Cougs participated in the 2016 Cougs Vote campaign! But, now that the election has passed, how can WSU students stay engaged in the democratic process? Following their passions and values, participants will explore and discuss social issues, while learning practical ways to be democratically engaged through action.

    Pullman students should register for this event on CougSync. Global Campus students can join the discussion on CCE’s YouTube channel. Public Square discussions are free and open to the public.

    Directly following this discussion, Pullman students are invited to a Write Your Reps activity from 4 pm – 4:30 pm in Butch’s Den. Students will learn some basic guidelines for writing their representatives and have to opportunity to draft a letter.