Promoting civil discourse through the
discussion of a controversial issue, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
will mark Constitution Day with a free public forum as the first event of the
university’s “Making Our Point: A Civil Discourse Initiative.”
Held Tuesday, Sept. 17, the forum is titled “A
Civil Discourse on Public Vaccination Policy and the First Amendment.” Participants
will include College of Letters and Science Dean Christopher Cirmo, Assistant
Dean Dona Warren, Jim Maas and Paul Ehlers of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party,
Ed Belongia and Bobbi Bradley from Marshfield Clinic, and Don Downs, an expert
on constitutional/civil liberties from UW-Madison. They will discuss public
mandates regarding immunization laws under two scenarios: parents who distrust the science behind
vaccinations; and parents who oppose vaccinations on religious grounds.
It begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. in
Room 221 of the Noel Fine Arts Center. The program is at 7 p.m.
According to Cirmo, the initiative seeks to
provide the public the opportunity to examine, refine, endorse, practice and
disseminate the principles that underlie fruitful conversations about
controversial topics. He and Warren are co-chairs of the initiative.
capacity to engage in fruitful and respectful dialog with those who disagree
with us is essential to any cooperative effort, from the workplace all the way
up to the highest levels of government,” said Cirmo. “It’s also composed of the
exactly the sort of skills and abilities that higher education should
cultivate. ‘Making Our Point: a Civil
Discourse Initiative’ will help UW-Stevens Point to more
intentionally nurture these traits.”
Point will serve as a catalyst for civil discourse, providing a series of opportunities
for discussion and education in the community and on campus. For more
information on this initiative, go to http://makingourpoint.wordpress.com.