At a DialoguEMU meeting on Wednesday, students discussed their semester. The students reflected on positives and negatives of the group, and what could be changed.
DialoguEMU gives students, faculty and staff the chance to sit in small groups and dialogue about issues on campus that are important to them. The goal is for participants to learn how to dialogue, respecting each participant’s opinion and perspective.
The group started by discussing the meaningful experiences they have had at DialoguEMU.
Senior Dominick Thirkield referred to a prior meeting, telling the group about when the financial aid department visited DialoguEMU and gave students resources to help them throughout the semester.
“Most people think people fail because of financial aid, but it’s doing other things,” Thirkield said. “It was nice to hear that people understood that same struggle when I sat down.”
Sophomore Krys Frane said more help with facilitators would help the dialogues move much smoother.
“When I first facilitated, I froze,” Frane said. “If facilitators got training, I believe it would help our dialogues be more successful.”
Thirkield said that he would like to see a bigger turnout at the dialogues.
“I’d like to see more people come,” Thirkield said. “But what can we do to draw more people out?”
Sophomore Kenzi Hayward said bringing together students from other majors, not just the communication major, could encourage more students attending the meetings.
When the group was asked what they liked most about DialoguEMU, Senior Albert Riley talked about the advantages of getting different perspectives.
“It’s always good to hear others’ thoughts and opinions,” Riley said. “The more you hear from others, you can form your opinion through others’ opinions.”
According to Krys Frane when DialoguEMU was first mentioned to her, she was uncomfortable with the idea.
“I’m blunt and I was worried I was going to offend people,” Frane said. “ I was scared to speak about issues I wasn’t comfortable with.”
After attending many meetings Frane feels much better and more comfortable about dialoguing during the seminars.
Bethany Fort, DialoguEMU’s advisor, says that where DialoguEMU will go next is up in the air.
“DialoguEMU has taken on many styles and forms,” Fort said. “It’s changed a bunch.”
DialoguEMU is currently partnered with many communication courses and Fort is looking to hopefully partner it up with other groups on campus.
Wednesday was the last DialoguEMU meeting for the semester. However, they are planning to start more meetings with more participants in the fall semester. Anyone is welcome to join, and students can receive LBC credits as well as digital badges for their LinkedIn accounts.