WSU Engaged Learning Series to Fact Check 1st Congressional Debate

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University will host a real-time fact-checking event for the Utah 1st Congressional District debate Oct. 17 from 5:45 to approximately 8 p.m. as part of a year-long Engaged Learning Series called “Matter of Fact?”

Community members are invited to gather at the Weber Country Library Southwest Branch (2039 W.4000 S., Roy, Utah) to watch the Utah Debate Commission broadcast of candidates Rob Bishop, Lee Castillo and Eric Eliason.

In addition to the broadcast, those in attendance will have the opportunity to view fact-checking results provided by Weber State students via Facebook Live.

Students studying investigative journalism, policy debate and political science at Weber State will conduct fact-checking during the debate. Students have been collecting background information on the candidates and issues of importance in advance of the debate.

“So much information is at our fingertips, and it is ever more important to understand what is going on in our local, national and global communities,” said Teresa Martinez, who is responsible for the Engaged Learning Series. “We need to know how to determine the credibility of the information in order to support ideas and arguments.”

The Weber State University Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) hosts the Engaged Learning Series (ELS) each year. ELS is a university-wide series of events designed to engage students, faculty, staff and community in discussion, debate, dialogue, learning and action around an issue of public concern. This year’s ELS theme, “Matter of Fact?” challenges people to think critically about fact and opinion, credible sources, how to articulate fact and why science, logic and history matter.

The series offers a variety of events including lectures, musical performances, conferences and symposiums, art exhibits, fact-checking political debates, banned-book week and more.

“We are excited to bring this theme to campus to discuss the importance of reliable information sources and engage campus and the community in ways that get people thinking about the way they approach fact,” Martinez said.

In addition to the debate, ELS will host two other events on Oct. 17:

Hurst Artist in Residence: Facts, Fiction, Myths — Espido Freire:

World-class author Espido Freire is regarded as one of the most-notable writers of contemporary Hispanic issues. She will discuss her works in the third installment of the Hurst Artist-in-Residence program at 11:30 a.m. in Elizabeth Hall Room 229.

Food for Thought: The Evolution of Media:

Television historian Tracey Smith will discuss journalism and how reporting has changed in an era of “fake news” and presidential tweets at 12:30 p.m. in the Stewart Library Hetzel-Hoellein Room 321.

All these events are free, and community members are invited to join the discussions.

For more information on the Engaged Learning Series, and to see a calendar of events, visit

Visit for more information about the fact-checking event. Those who are unable to attend the event, but wish to follow the fact-checking, can tune in to CCEL’s Facebook page

Visit for more news about Weber State University.


Teresa Martinez, Center for Community Engaged Learning program coordinator
801-626-7737 •


Ross Rosier, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7948 •