WSU Students Get Help Negotiating Controversy

OGDEN, Utah – Students and staff at Weber State University will have the opportunity to engage in healthy political discourse about climate change and sustainability as the WSU American Democracy Project hosts Deliberative Dialogue Day, Nov. 15 from noon to 3 p.m. in the Shepherd Union Ballrooms.

Deliberative Dialogue Day (DDD), formerly known as Deliberative Democracy Day, fosters an environment of healthy discussion with students of both similar and differing political views. Topics vary each year, with issues such as LGBTQ, gay marriage, health insurance, guns on campus, student athletics and immigration.

“We understand people have varying levels of knowledge and feelings about climate change,” said Erin Dominguez, WSU Student Association American Democracy Project chair. “However, we don't want there to be any ‘experts’ in the room. We will start the event by providing information as well as playing a brief video. That way, all attendees will be deliberating from the same starting point and with the same basic information.”

Students will then have the lunch hour to reflect on the information. Following lunch, participants will divide into small groups and discuss their opinions. Communication students will facilitate all discussions.

“The idea is to help students learn how to have hard conversations,” said Leah Murray, political science professor. “We want students to take away the strength and confidence to engage in those conversations as they go out to change the world.”

DDD is one of the programs offered by the American Democracy Project. The American Democracy Project, which began in 2003, focuses on public higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for democratic and civic engagement. Other major events sponsored by the project include Constitution Week held yearly in September and the Democracy Wall displayed next in the Shepherd Union Atrium, Dec. 7-9.

Visit weber.edu/ccel/adp.html for more information on the American Democracy Project’s upcoming events.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:

Leah Murray, Political Science Professor
801-391-4363 • lmurray@weber.edu

Author:

Charles Bowker, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7295 • charlesbowker@weber.edu