MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – Northern Michigan University students and faculty are working on improving mediation and discussions surrounding disagreements with NMU’s first ever civility week. Todays discussions were titled the great divide.
Professors in the education, history, communications, and political science departments at NMU gave speeches about the role civility plays in communication, and the importance of civility within their classrooms. Joe Lubig is The Dean and Director of Education at NMU, he says Civility is an important addition within The University.
“We can be kind to each other, we can disagree, there can be some disruption,” Lubig says, “but there should be a way, and we should be practicing a way, to keep talking about the things that are difficult or the things that maybe frighten us or intimidate us a little bit”
State Senator Ed McBroom kicked off the conference with an open conversation about political civility within Michigan’s Senate. He says making sure we talk about civil communication in universities is what sets us up for a more positive political environment in the future.
“We have these debates, we put them out in front if our peers and we have then think about our ideas with open minds,” McBroom says, “and to come into that with the opportunity to say I believe this is right, and I have a very strong reason to believe this is right, but I’m also willing to listen and consider that not everything I believe is exactly right.”
Co-organizer Dr. Dwight brady says he felt it was important for the university to create a space to focus on building respectful communications skills.
“I believe it’s all a very very good start for the idea of celebrating civility,” Dr. Brady says, “and really understanding exactly what it is because it’s not necessarily politeness, it’s a lot of things, it’s disagreeing without being disrespectful.”
Events for the week will continue through Friday, March 31st . Thursday, A student led discussion will be taking place at 10 am in Peninsula II at the Northern Center about mental health followed by a conversation at 1:30 pm between Dr. Brady and Author of Irony and Outrage, Dannagal Goldthwaite. Friday, Peninsula II will be hosting a workshop from 1:00 until 3:30 pm with the creators of The Civility Project.
For more on Civility week events and The SPEECH competition, chick here.