UW-Stevens Point Public forum encourages civil discourse

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.


“The 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.” 

UW-Stevens 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.




Article Tags