Bridging the Divide

Held on Friday afternoon of Jan. 13, the Community Conversation on Political Common Ground discussed the difficult and contentious topic of politics in Esch Hurvis Studio on the second floor of the Warch Campus Center. The majority of the three-hour long meeting consisted of two groups sharing their points of view and stories.

These varying points of view were prompted by a question sheet everyone was given, as well as questions directed by by facilitators for the event. Many of the questions pertained to the divide that the U.S. has when it comes to politics.

The group consisted of Lawrence students, staff and other Appleton community members, which brought a wide variety of backgrounds and political perspectives.

For the most part, the participating students’ political perspectives were shaped by their parents’ views and how they were raised. For others, they could see both sides of the Democratic-Republican spectrum because their family is split down the middle.

Many often keep silent out of fear of being judged based on their views or who they vote for, especially by their own family members.

Despite many differences, the groups found it important for conversations and discussions like this to continue in person, without the distraction of social media which can misconstrue views and information.

Near the end of the meeting, the groups congregated and, after comparing notes, discussed what was to happen next. Specifically, there are to be more conversations about politics. This is just the first of a three-part conversation. The next meeting will discuss the actions to be taken to better bridge the political divide on campus.