News from The Mahurin Honors College
Deliberative Dialogues: Campus Conversations Hosted by Mahurin Honors College Scholars
- Leah Thompson and Zack Ryle
- Friday, February 24th, 2023
Bowling Green, Kentucky — Honors 251 Citizen and Self students at Western Kentucky University will host a series of deliberative dialogues scheduled for March 29th through April 7th. The campus conversations will be held in-person in the Honors College and International Center (HCIC) Room 1011. The schedule of dialogues, as well as registration links, can be found here.
During a deliberative dialogue, small groups of participants take part in a guided discussion of a pressing social issue while exploring different options for addressing the public problem. The participants in each group, with the help of a student moderator, will deliberate each option and collectively decide what actions they think are the best solutions and which tradeoffs they are (or are not) willing to accept.
“Dialogues are an extremely effective way to explore social issues in a safe environment with people who may or may not share your beliefs, values, and opinions," states Leah Thompson, Honors 251 Instructor. "The goal is not to change people’s minds about how they feel about the issue but to decide collectively what they can or cannot live with when considering potential solutions.”
Unlike a debate, a lecture, or airing of grievances, the goal of deliberation is to find common ground between participants.
Shelby Spencer, an HON 251 Teaching Fellow, says that “dialogue is a skill that must be practiced by all generations in order to learn how to have a civil conversation about difficult topics, as all of our most pressing issues require a collective effort to remedy.”
The dialogues are not only an opportunity for MHC scholars to apply and showcase the skills and knowledge developed in HON 251; they also are an opportunity for the broader campus and Bowling Green community to participate in guided discussions of current events.
The sessions are open to all WKU students, faculty, staff, administrators, as well as friends and family. Registration is required, and spots are available on a first come first serve basis. Please direct any questions towards HON 251 instructor, Leah Thompson (email@example.com).