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St. Ambrose University is pleased to partner with the Quad-City Times and the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce to create and host "Leading the Nation — Iowa 2020," a series of Q&A forums which will invite St. Ambrose students and members of the community at large to engage in the 2020 Iowa Caucuses process.

This initiative will encourage presidential candidates to meet with SAU student journalists and reporters from the Quad-City Times in a format where they will face questions pertinent to Iowa, the nation and young people, in particular.

The last half of these one-hour sessions will allow candidates to freely share their campaign message.

As president of St. Ambrose University, I am often called upon to speak on behalf of the university and its many constituencies, but the university does not endorse any political party, its platform or its candidates. Rather, the university is a place where civil and respectful debate about the issues before us can take place. Such open debate can be useful to all citizens of good will.

At St. Ambrose, we believe in encouraging our students, faculty, and staff members to get involved in the political process. These forums will allow them — and all interested Quad Cities citizens — to interact with presidential candidates. Ultimately, this will empower all of us to be more fully informed and engaged participants in the 2020 Iowa Caucuses and presidential election.

During the next year as local and national interest in the Iowa Caucuses intensifies, we look forward to seeing many of the presidential candidates on our campus. St. Ambrose University values opportunities such as these for community engagement. We will welcome community members to our campus to listen to and question the ideas and viewpoints of each of the candidates.

We are blessed to be citizens in a democracy where the voices of individuals can and do make a difference.

Sister Joan Lescinski, CSJ, PhD

President, St. Ambrose University

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