University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Dialogue on Campus Dialogues: A post-dialogue

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The workshop, "A Dialogue on Campus Dialogues", was inspired by the surge in campus protests and controversies nationwide and the efforts to address them through dialogic interventions. Our goal was to bring various constituencies together in a productive, apolitical, working-group atmosphere to discuss how to encourage more meaningful dialogue on campus and off. The hope is that people would leave the workshop knowing a bit more about each other’s overlapping missions and interests.

The day’s conversation built outward from the most intimate UConn community setting, the classroom, to finish with consideration of broader demographics and social dynamics. The day was organized around four sessions, loosely described as follows (frames; potential topics to discuss; times):

  • Session 1. “Contention in the Classroom”: Trigger Warnings, Divisive Dialogue; 10:30am - 12pm
  • Session 2. “Political Campus”: Student Activism, Outreach, Self–Segregation and Racism, Campus Community; 1pm - 2:30pm
  • Session 3. “Community”: Campus as Microcosm, Campus as Ideal, Campus + Community. 3pm - 4:30pm
  • Session 4. "Wrap Up and Steps Forward." 4:45pm - 5:45pm

(You can find the full schedule and questions that guided our discussions for each session here).

This small workshop included students (undergrad and grad), faculty, staff, administrators, and practitioners (representing Everyday Democracy, the Public Conversation Project and the Kettering Foundation). The Dialogue on Campus Dialogues brought together many constituencies within the University community, as well as outside partners, and we are hopeful that in some small way, this working group strengthens UConn as a place in which divisive issues of the day can be addressed robustly and respectfully.