MAYDAY! Tackles Government Surveillance and Citizen Responsibility

The 37th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference will take place on Wednesday, May 3. Dr. Bruce Fein will give the keynote address at 10 a.m.
Posted on May 1st, 2017 by

Written by Hubert-Christian Ngabirano ’18

Gustavus Adolphus College’s 37th annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference will be held on Wednesday, May 3 in Christ Chapel and Alumni Hall. The event, which begins at 10 a.m. in Christ Chapel, is free and open to the public.

Titled “What Would You Do? Mass Surveillance and the Citizen,” the conference will consider the obligations of citizens to check the overreach of government power in our information age. Speakers with a wide range of perspectives will examine the boundaries of government power and secrecy in times of peace and war and the role of citizens in making the government transparent and accountable.

The Conference will be comprised of a keynote speech from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m and a panel discussion with a question-and-answer session will follow from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

Dr. Bruce Fein

“MAYDAY! this year will bring to light issues of government abuse of privacy, proper use of surveillance, and citizen responsibility to guard our privacy and to check government (or corporate) power,” said political science professor and chair of this year’s MAYDAY! Committee Mimi Gerstbauer. “In each MAYDAY! Conference, we attempt to leave you with steps you can take toward positive change, not just hopelessly sounding the ‘distress call.'”

The keynote speaker, Dr. Bruce Fein, is a constitutional lawyer in Washington, D.C., former assistant deputy attorney for the Reagan administration, and attorney for the Snowden family. Fein has written on constitutional issues for The New York TimesThe Washington Times, and and has contributed work to the Heritage Foundation and other conservative think tanks. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. His address is titled “Speaking Truth to Power: Moral Obligations of Citizenship.”

The afternoon panel discussion will feature Coleen Rowley, Jane E. Kirtley, and Thomas Drake as they focus on topics related to mass surveillance and citizenship. The entire event is free and open to the public. The conference will also be streamed live online and archived. For more information about the speakers and their biographical information, visit the MAYDAY! website.

Conference Schedule:

10 a.m. Welcoming Ceremony & Keynote Address; Dr. Bruce Fein (Christ Chapel)

11:30 a.m. Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. Afternoon Panel Discussion with Q&A (Alumni Hall — Johnson Student Union)

3 p.m. Closing (Alumni Hall)

All sessions are open to the public and free to attend. They will also be streamed live and archived online.

The annual MAYDAY! Peace Conference was founded at Gustavus 1981 by the late Florence and Raymond Sponberg of North Mankato, Minn., and is designed to educate the campus community about issues related to peace, human rights, and social justice. The conference occurs every year on the last Wednesday in April or the first Wednesday in May. Previous conference themes have focused on land rights, violence in community, hunger, the banning of landmines, food security, global water issues, and political policies relating to peace issues.

For questions or more information about this year’s conference, visit the MAYDAY! website or contact the Gustavus Office of Marketing and Communication at 507-933-7520.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


Comments are closed.