Spring 2014 Newsletter
UIC Students Deliberate on Health Care, Community Violence in Two Campus Dialogue Sessions
This spring, IPCE implemented the second round of campus dialogues designed to engage UIC students in conversations on civic issues most important to them. Health care and community violence were the student-selected topics of focus for these two facilitated conversations.
On April 9, an intimate group of students gathered to deliberate on the complex topic of health care policy. Students were divided into small groups and, under the guidance of a trained facilitator, considered questions such as, who gets health care, who pays for it, and how? and how do we control the rising costs of care while still insuring high quality care and increased access? Student participants were supplemented with an issue guide from Public Agenda to assist them in thinking through the topic and evaluating the pros, cons, and tradeoffs for a number of approaches and perspectives. Students also discussed how the Affordable Care Act impacts them and learned how they can sign-up.
Another group of students assembled one week later on April 15 to discuss community violence. Working within an interactive and participatory World Café-inspired format, students focused their conversations around general questions prompting how violence impacts our community and what our community might look like if there were peace. Students were encouraged to share their experiences and ideas about the impact of community violence while facilitators listened and helped participants identify common themes and patterns in their discussions.
At the conclusion of the conversations, students from both groups expressed that talking with fellow classmates and hearing their stories helped frame the issue from another perspective and challenged them to confront their own assumptions and beliefs.
Plans are in the works to hold more campus student dialogues in the fall and spring of next year. Stay tuned for more information on dates and conversation topics.