How did Boise State Republicans and Democrats team up on a panel on diversity programs?

Boise State Republican and Democratic student groups have taken the lead on organizing a panel discussion on campus diversity and inclusion programs, in lieu of the Idaho Freedom Foundation.

Betsy Russell of the Idaho Press broke down the backstory behind next week’s panel in an article Tuesday.

“The original idea was to have an IFF staffer, leadership member up there because we’ve been involved in this,” Freedom Foundation spokesman Dustin Hurst told Russell. “So that’s why we were excited about the event and tweeting it out and stuff like that. We still are excited. It’s going to be a wonderful discussion between thoughtful members of the Legislature.”

“This whole event is not to promote the Freedom Foundation,” Ivy Smith, president of Boise State Young Democrats President Ivy Smith told Russell. “It is for students.”

Boise State College Republicans and Boise State Young Democrats are collaborating on the event, which will feature a bipartisan panel of lawmakers: Reps. Barbara Ehardt and Bryan Zollinger, both R-Idaho Falls; Senate Assistant Minority Leader Cherie Buckner-Webb, D-Boise; and House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise.

All four lawmakers have been embroiled, to varying degrees, in the debate over Boise State diversity and inclusion programs, which has marked new President Marlene Tromp’s first three months as university president.

The Freedom Foundation and the Idaho Democratic Legislative Campaign Caucus are promoting the forum, scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Simplot Ballroom at Boise State’s Student Union Building.

Check back at Idaho Education News next week for coverage of the panel discussion.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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