Action Commitment Updates In Brief provide a summary of a volunteer activity that was undertaken as a result of Finding the Center Conference 2011.
Denise Carl (Coordinator of ASUI Student Engagement and Leadership Programs at UI) continued her work with Heather Gasser (Director of the UI Women’s Center) and Bruce Mann (Coordinator for ASUI Center for Volunteerism at UI) to plan a series of on-campus civil discourse forums called Campus Conversations for the fall 2011 semester. Following the Finding the Center conference, Carl was inspired to hold the first Campus Conversation last April in reaction to a “white trash party” that was held on campus (see August 2011 newsletter). The first forum this fall was held on September 6th and addressed the question, “How do you show others you care?” Carl, Gasser, and Mann initiated the session by establishing discussion ground rules for the audience that emphasized good listening skills. They also reminded the students, faculty, and staff in attendance about the importance of participation: the depth of discussion achieved would depend on audience involvement. The team also emphasized the value of face-to-face community discussion—as opposed to online communication and texting—and cited it as a main reason for the Campus Conversation events. Attendees of the September 6th conversation participated with enthusiasm. The forum alternated between small group discussion at individual tables and audience-wide discussion of the topic.
Campus Conversations will be the first Tuesday of every month throughout the fall semester. A special Conversation will be held October 19 when Dr. Mark Braverman visits campus. Visit the Campus Conversation Facebook page for an opportunity to engage with forum topics on an on-going basis.Visit the ASUI Campus Conversation page for the fall schedule. Email Denise Carl if you have a suggestion for a forum topic: firstname.lastname@example.org