Last week, Ithaca College held its second campus gathering to discuss difficult issues affecting the campus, the local community and the country. Students, faculty and staff were able to come together on the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 2, to share a meal and converse with members of the campus community about a range of topics.
The event was hosted by Director of Programs and Outreach Sean Eversley Bradwell, who briefly welcomed those in attendance before leaving everyone to speak among themselves. For the rest of the night, the small groups held individual conversations.
Throughout the evening, a slide show reminded participants of a few components that lead to proper discussion, such as “Stay engaged,” and “Expect and accept non-closure.”
On each table was a jar of multi-colored Popsicle sticks with discussion questions varying from simple ice-breakers to deeper ones about society and personal values.
Junior Molly Robbins, co-president of IC Active Minds, was in attendance and sat at a table mixed with faculty and students members. Active Minds is a club that promotes mental health on campus through events and weekly meetings. Robbins said she sees value in having discussions like these on campus.
Bradwell says feedback on the gatherings have been positive, and one or two more events are in the works for the spring semester.
“We have found these events to be a solid way to encourage conversation among and between groups of our campus community who might not otherwise talk together about such important issues,” Bradwell said.
Outside the gathering, there was a poster where participants could finish the statement: “We need to talk about…” By the end of the night the poster was filled with suggestions and calls to action.