Last Wednesday, President Pistole hosted a forum for students and faculty members to discuss the election results.
The goal of the forum was to give people at AU an opportunity and a safe place to discuss any thoughts or concerns that they have about what the election results could mean both directly on AU’s campus, and for us as a country.
Pistole started the forum off by writing two different words on the whiteboard: context and issues. He then took statements from students and faculty who wanted to contribute a concern or remarks that fell under these two different categories.
Though the forum lasted only an hour, many students and faculty members contributed to the discussion. The concerns that people brought up ranged from immigration to white supremacy to the power of social media, but there was undoubtedly one primary question: what can we do as a campus to promote civil discussion?
Students who attended the forum seemed to generally have a good response as well. Abby Johnson, a junior English major, said “I think the forum was a good foundation from which the university can continue to move forward toward further conversations about protection for its students.”
“It was comforting to hear that many members of faculty and staff feel the same way that many students do about the election and its outcome” Johnson said. “It was also comforting to hear that administration is in the process of coming up with an action plan for how we as a university can continue to dialogue in peace and humility,”
Senior history major Ryan Grondahl said, “I thought it was very well done. I was particularity glad to see students and professors uniting together to speak up about important issues that often don’t receive the attention warranted.”
“I believe that now, more than ever, we need to stand together as people,” Grondahl said. “How do we do this? A good place to start would be educating each other through civil dialogue.”