Sunday, December 13, 2015

Rules of Engagement

In the wake of campus “reform” movements taking place at various universities across the country, it is important to make honest debate once again the structure of these conversations.  We have written and spoken often about engaging in honest debate and the importance in dealing in facts to drive discussion.

Two students at UC Berkeley, have written a piece suggesting three rules of engagement for campus protest/movements to assure these become discussions where people can speak but, as important, listen to the other points of view.
  1. Use your speech to ignite principled engagement with the issues, not to extinguish the voices of others
  2. Respect the diverse ways people use public spaces, and refrain from monopolizing them with bodily blockades or disproportionate noise
  3. Scrap the inane chants in favor of compelling arguments, aesthetically presented; protest with an eye to the history books and the creation of culture
These points may seem obvious and commonly practiced, but they are worthy of note, as much of what is referred to as debates or political discourse today is nothing more than preaching a message for consumption into a 5 to 15 second sound-bite for use by a partisan media.

Read “Toward a Freer Speech onCampus: A Perspective from the Concerned Student of 1791” by Nicolas L. Jaber & Nihal Singh by following the link


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