Marshall promotes civil discourse through Campus Conversations event Nov. 17

Marshall University will host its final Campus Conversations session to discuss civility in the digital age with guest speaker Alexander Heffner, the host of the PBS show The Open Mind. The session will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Memorial Student Center’s room BE5 on the university’s Huntington campus.

Patricia Proctor, director of the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy and an organizer of the event, said having Heffner on campus to help explore the topic of civil discourse in the digital age will provide an outside perspective from someone whose entire career is focused on promoting civil discourse in a meaningful way.

“Our current election season has demonstrated that by and large, as a society, we have a real problem with this (civil discourse). We don’t understand each other well and, as a society, we are more divided than ever. This problem may be exacerbated by technology, which has replaced various settings in which people once would converse in person and possibly build relationships with others with whom they differed,” Proctor said. “These are extremely relevant topics: how do we engage with each other, and even disagree with each other, while seeking to truly hear and understand each other’s perspectives, and how do we do this in a civil and respectful way?”

The event will be livestreamed at www.marshall.edu/it/livestream. The 2016 Campus Conversations have been sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association and the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy. Contact academic-affairs@marshall.edu or 304-696-6840 for more information.