Bus stop: UL Lafayette gets in the ‘swing’ of C-SPAN’s Southern tour


C-SPAN’s “Southern Swing” will include a stop at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

The public affairs television network’s high-tech classroom – housed in a 45-foot customized bus – will be parked at Edith Garland Dupré Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The stop is part of an eight-week tour of southern and western states. The bus will visit Northside High School in Lafayette earlier in the day.

The tour’s goal: to hear “from people about what being an American means to them,” said Heath Neiderer, C-SPAN marketing manager. The interviews may be featured in the network’s “Voices from the Road” project.

The bus already has visited cities, schools and universities in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi as part of the “Southern Swing.” It will head to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona after leaving Louisiana. Each stop has included interviews with students, educators, community members and elected officials, as well as tours of the network’s rolling classroom.

The bus has interactive large-screen tablets with political and educational resources, a high-definition TV production studio, a social media selfie station, and a 360-degree video station that plays past C-SPAN’s coverage of high-profile events and behind-the-scenes tours of national landmarks.

Visitors also will learn about C-SPAN’s history of American political coverage, and details on accessing its online educational video library. It’s a resource on which educators regularly rely for classroom instruction.

Dr. William R. Davie is one of them. The professor of communication at UL Lafayette said he uses C-SPAN in his law and ethics course “to remind students of the fundamentals of how government works.”

Davie said the network’s campus visit is the result of a conversation between Department of Communication faculty and alum David D’Aquin, ’01. D’Aquin is public affairs manager for Cox Communications, which is sponsoring the Lafayette leg of C-SPAN’s “Southern Swing.”

Davie said the stop at UL Lafayette is “a wonderful opportunity. C-SPAN continues to be a bias-free zone for public information. It has escaped all the cacophony of noise” in current civic discourse. 

The Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, or C-SPAN, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The network airs live coverage of Congress and interviews with authors, among other programming. Cable and satellite providers fund the commercial-free public service.

C-SPAN is available locally on Cox channel 141. C-SPAN2 is on channel 142, while C-SPAN3 airs on channel 143. The network’s website is C-SPAN.org.


Photo caption: C-SPAN's 45-foot customized bus is coming to the University's Dupré Library. (Photo courtesy of C-SPAN).