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West Library hosts “1984” panel discussion

A panel discussion about George Orwell`s novel “1984” was held on Tuesday at the Eunice & James L. West Library.

The discussion touched on such issues as how totalitarian government, media manipulation, and advanced technology can be used to control people.

Dr. Kay L. Colley, associate professor of mass communication and Dr. Cary Adkinson, associate professor of criminal justice, served on the panel while Marquel Anteola, reference and instruction librarian, was the discussion’s mediator.

Colley voiced her concerns over the effects government-controlling media can have on citizens.

“Government control leads to citizens without power, knowledge and sometimes death,” Colley said.

Adkinson also advised the audience to be mindful of media. He urged the audience to be excellent critical thinkers and to form their own educated opinions.

“My advice to you is be critical media consumers,” Adkinson said. “Propaganda capitalizes on fear.”

Dennis Miles, reference and instruction Librarian, thought Adkinson’s advice on the dangers of social media news was terrific. He found the discussions to be very informative and believes “1984” can definitely relate to modern society.

“Social media (discussion) was very good because they were able to say social media was just a way to communicate,” Miles said. “It can be used for good or bad just like any other medium.”

Miles agrees with the panel about the idea that when the government starts to get control of any platform of media, whether it’s newspapers or television, the people begin to lose control of their own lives since the government is telling them what to believe, which relates to Orwell’s central theme in the book.

Devon Tunnell, senior and English major, also liked the panel. She said this was a great event, very thought out, and the book of choice was an excellent discussion topic.

“This was one of my favorite books, and if I have some free time in the future I would definably attend this event again,” Tunnell said.

Tunnell is just one of the students that Anteola hoped would come to this event. With the support of the library committee, she planned this event with the intent of giving students a place to talk about social issues, and she hopes to have more in the future.

“We are hoping to carry on the tradition,” Anteola said. “We are actually thinking about the next book we will do for the next academic year. If anyone has any suggestions, please come by the reference desk and let us know.”

Dr. Kay Colley and Dr. Cary Adkinson discuss how the book “1984” relates to the present.
Photo by Massaran Kromah
Students listen to the “1984” panel discussion at the West Library.
Photo by Massaran Kromah


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West Library hosts “1984” panel discussion