The Student News Site of Oregon State University

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The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

University to host discussion on civil dialogue

Contributed photo
Robert George (left) and Cornel West (right), who will be appearing at the LaSells Stewart Center on Monday to discuss civil discourse.

Oregon State will host scholars Robert George and Cornel West on Monday at 7 p.m. to discuss the university’s role in restoring civil discourse.

The event, which will be held at LaSells Stewart Center, is being put on by the College of Business and the Office of the Provost. Through connections at Linn-Benton Community College, they got in touch with George and West.

“(Dean of the College of Business) Tim Carroll and Linn-Benton Community College were aware of the efforts by Cornel West and Robert George to model productive civic dialogue,” said Provost Edward Feser. “We were delighted when they agreed to come to OSU.”

One of the key things about these speakers is that they are historically known for their differences in philosophical ideas, something Feser found important when planning this event as it models an important example.

“The health of democracy in the United States depends on each of us being able to engage with one another around difficult issues and across the political spectrum,” Feser said. “Universities must be a venue where such engagement is not just allowed but actively encouraged.”

Inara Scott, Board of Trustees member and senior associate dean of the College of Business is the event’s moderator. She also stressed the importance of respect in difficult conversations and explained how these speakers achieve that.

“I think the most important thing for people to know about them is how deep their friendship is and how deep their connections are,” Scott said. “If you look back, they have been talking and traveling for a long time together.”

Scott believes that it is critically important for people to have respectful disagreements and is glad George and West are coming to create this example.

“Having deep disagreements is actually really good for democracy and that’s how great ideas are fostered,” Scott said.

Feser also noted how university speakers often only highlight one point of view, however, he finds it important in higher education to have diverse perspectives.

“Universities need to offer more settings where spirited, but respectful dialogue takes place and offers discussion across different viewpoints. That is fundamentally what a healthy democracy is about,” Feser said.

Registration for the event is required and can be found here.

West is running for president in 2024. He is appearing in his personal capacity at this event and not on behalf of any federal campaign committee.

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