The importance of being actively involved in politics is something faculty and staff at Fort Hays State University continually stress to students.


Once again this year, multiple entities at FHSU and in the city of Hays are teaming up to provide live debate coverage of the 111th District in the Kansas House of Representatives. The race features incumbent Barbara Wasinger, R-Hays, and challenger Eber Phelps, D-Hays.


The debate will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 and be broadcast live on the FHSU Student Government Association’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fhsusga/.


"Every single host involved in ensuring these debates happen care greatly about civic engagement, and voters should take this opportunity to become informed about candidates and issues that will better our community," said Crystal Rojas, legislative affairs director of the FHSU Student Government Association.


The event is being made possible by the collaboration of the FHSU Student Government Association, the American Democracy Project, the Department of Political Science, Tiger Media Network, the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce and the Docking Institute of Public Affairs.


"The 2020 November election will have a significant impact on the businesses and residents of Ellis County," said Sarah Wasinger, president/CEO of the Hays Chamber. "Chamber advocacy for member investors is critical, especially this year and moving forward due to all the legislation that impacts local businesses. We encourage all registered voters and the public to watch the election forums this October. Exercise due diligence, research candidates and be sure to vote on Nov. 3."


Candidates will answer questions from the moderators during the debate, and viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions in the live event with the comment section.


Questions for the candidates can also be submitted prior to the event by emailing them to fhsutmn@gmail.com.


Due to the need for social distancing requirements, no audience will be allowed in person at the debate.


Wasinger and Phelps squared off in the 111th District two years ago, with Wasinger knocking off Phelps by a slim margin.


To help the community become educated on this year’s general election, as well as candidates, a Forsyth Library employee has developed an online election guide.


Kelly Hovinga, instruction and research librarian, has developed the site at https://fhsuguides.fhsu.edu/2020election. The site has information on statewide, local and national elections. It also includes information on polling places and tips for spotting fake news during the election cycle.


The site is available to the public.