Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Letter from members of the Consortium for Constructive Dialog
We, the founding members of the Consortium for Constructive Dialog, believe in the power of dialog to change minds and build community. We believe that constructive dialog has been lacking in the last year. Our mission is to foster a respect for constructive discourse and a tolerance for differing viewpoints at Swarthmore College. We, as members of the Swarthmore community, should not only expect respect for our own viewpoints, but also actively seek to understand the viewpoints of others, even those with whom we vehemently disagree.
Our aim is to foster much-needed unity between the members of the Swarthmore community through respectful dialog. We acknowledge that each and every one of us is a human being with insecurities, ignorance, and biases, but seek to overcome them.
Therefore, we extend an invitation to the campus community to bi-weekly gatherings on Monday evenings at 7PM to discuss pertinent issues on campus. Our first discussion shall be on the subject of the College’s Interim Sexual Assault Policies this coming Monday, September 23rd. Due to the nature of the discussion we are having, potentially triggering topics may arise. All members of the community are welcome and encouraged to attend, especially those whose views are often underrepresented at Swarthmore. We want to provide a forum for community members to have the discussion that has been lacking here. It is our hope that this space is safe, calm, and respectful for all people and their ideas. This respect is given freely to all, regardless of their background. In this space, everyone represents themselves as an individual, not a broader group or movement.
We envision a Swarthmore in which dialogue is commonplace–not just constructive but spirited, loving, and respectful.
We hope you will join us.