Let’s be civil: Team of staff and students encourage civil discourse

By Colin Jorissen

Business Manager

collin.jorissen3766@mb.rctc.edu

Our current society has issues with civility throughout respective workplaces.

A team of people at RCTC has been selected to detect, isolate and resolve any civility issues that have arisen within the past few years. The team consists of Andy Hamman, coordinator of campus safety and security; Barb Fritz, faculty; Becca Peine, director of student conduct; Beth Heim de Bera, faculty; Collin Jorissen, Echo student journalist; Elizabeth Fleck, faculty; Nate Stoltman, director of marketing; Michael Anthony, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management; Michon Rodgers, faculty; and Sofia Alston, Student Senate president.

This is a team that was recently created to address the issues of civil discourse in the RCTC environment. They met for the first time on Sept. 14. This team is dedicated to not only defining civility past the Webster’s Dictionary definition of a polite act or expression, but also to go beyond that and define what it means to the average RCTC student.

This team is committed to identifying outcomes by making visual aids, providing students with better tools for civil discourse, and stopping confrontations at its roots. The team has defined civility for the students and faculty of RCTC as being committed to respecting others, the ability to think of others in a respectful way, the ability to have thoughtful conversations with others while respecting their views, and respecting others ideas and experiences.

This initiative is not so much in response to any specific event, but rather a proactive move to prevent hostile confrontations. With the resignation of the past president, Leslie McClellon, RCTC is taking steps towards a better community for not only learning, but also in conversations in and outside of the classroom.

How do you define civility, and what does it mean to you?

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