In response to continued polarization and political enmity in America today, Cairn University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education repeated last semester’s successful forums, fostering civil political dialogue among students of both universities. Entitled “Can We Talk? Political Dialogue in Donald Trump’s America,” the events include a panel discussion among students modelling five basic rules for civil political discourse, followed by smallgroup discussions about personal views on this year’s most charged political topics. This fall’s first event, held on October 18, drew nearly 100 students from Cairn, Penn, Drexel, Eastern, St. Joseph’s, Villanova, and the John Jay Institute.
“The event is worth repeating because over the past several months, more and more people are isolating themselves, talking only with those who confirm their existing beliefs,” says Greg Schaller, president of the John Jay Institute and professor of political science for Cairn, who helped organize this year’s event. “The need is even more pressing to continue finding ways to have constructive dialogue among those who disagree with one another.”