New: Campus Conversations is now hosted by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Please go to this site for the latest information.
Carnegie Mellon University is using the concept and practice of Deliberative Polling® and other forms of democrtic dialogue at the campus level. Called Campus Conversations, the initiative seeks to (1) highlight the virtues of campus diversity, as this is embedded in the nature of deliberation, (2) provide a new tool for dissemination and feedback, and (3) create a sense of campus community and an appreciation of democratic practice and civic engagement.
Beginning in the Fall of 2008, Campus Conversations is being supported by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, with partial funding coming from the Office of the Vice Provost for Education.
According to student affairs coordinator Joanna Dickert, the new partnership is designed to engage more students in the deliberative polling process by using it as a tool for campus discussions and decision making.
"We hope to create opportunities for students to realize the benefits of the diversity found within the campus community via their participation in deliberative events," Dickert explained. "Additionally, we hope that participation in such events allows students to cultivate deliberative skills in ways that promote a sense of social responsibility and assist in their preparation for a life of leadership and impact."
For more information about these conversations, see the Events
Questions? Contact Robert
Cavalier at 412/268-7643. Our offices are located in Baker Hall
With the support of the Teagle Foundation and the Phi Beta Kappa
Society, we have produced a Handbook
for College-Level Deliberative Polling. This Handbook is free
and available for download. We also provide a Coordinator’s
Toolkit with sample e-mails, forms, and training materials for
those interested using these kinds of deliberative practices on
their campuses. The elements of the toolkit are as follows: Sample
Timelines, Examples of Consent
and Release Forms, Sample Background
Document and Resource Guide, Sample Questions
and Survey, Expert
Panel E-mails and Descriptions, Participant
Inquiry E-mails, Volunteer/Moderator
Materials, Sample Checklists,
Sample Online Discussion
Twelve minute Documentary Video of
a Campus Conversaion (QuickTime).
Interns in Deliberative Democracy
Begun in 2004 as a Coro co-sponsored Internship Program, this campus funded program creates a real and abiding link
between student interns and the larger campus community via the
Campus Conversations project and provides vital support for that
project as well. While supporting opportunity for reflection
and reading, the internship
is primarily focused on civic engagement at both the campus and the regional level. This kind of practicum provides
insights into the theory as well as the practice of democracy itself.
Past and current recipients: Randy Weinsten (2004-5), Neil Guzy
(2006), Dan Geisey and Joanne Kilgour (2006-2007), Ashley Birt
and Brad Porter (2007-2008), Tokeia Fitzgerald and Andrea Solomon (2008-2009).
In order to institutionalize and maintain the Campus Conversations
initiative on our campus, we have established an Advisory Board
consisting of administrators, staff, faculty, alumni, and students.