Making Our Point: A
Civil engagement is a prerequisite to a successful
democratic society. Unfortunately more often than we like to admit, our
political initiatives subject ourselves to
counter-productive combative arguments, falling off track of our initial debate
and ultimately losing the ability to articulate the issues we face.
The College of Letters and Science is launching “Making Our
Point: A Civility Initiative,” a program that will discuss how UW-Stevens Point
and our nation should model civil discourse.
The event will take place on Constitution Day, September 17, 2013.
“Our objective is to work for a conception of civil
discourse that is grounded and consistent with the overall goals of higher
education,” said Assistant Dean Dona Warren.
Making Our Point: A Civility Initiative, will blend certain
ideas from existing civility programs such as “Speak Your Peace,” a
community-held organization that started in Duluth, Minn., and has since moved
to areas of Central Wisconsin including Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point. The
main purpose of Speak Your Peace is to urge citizens to communicate in a
respectful and effective way.
“UW-Stevens Point’s goal is to use civil discourse as a way
for learning rather than a training program to be kind,” said Dean Chris Cirmo.
The project was awarded the Bringing Theory to Practice
Grant by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The grant will
allow for a formal inauguration in fall 2013 through a workshop, during which
an invited speaker will introduce administrators and members of Faculty Senate
and the Student Government Association to the principles guiding the program’s
A public forum will be held after the workshop that
officially announces the university’s civility initiatives, recapitulates the
principles of civil discourse, and illustrates the principles of civil
discourse with a panel discussion centering upon a controversial issue.
The forum is supported by a number of university affiliates
including the Student Government Association, the Office of Academic Affairs,
the College of Letters and Science, the university student Democratic Party
adviser, the university student Republican Party adviser, and the Community
Foundation of Central Wisconsin.
Making Our Point: A
Civility Initiative is an example of how UW-Stevens Point is using its
resources to improve standards of living. Students and the community should
expect these initiatives to improve classroom and everyday political
Back to newsletter