Civil discourse is a fundamental feature of a healthy democracy: we can make headway on the many pressing problems that we face only if we’re able to talk about them openly, vigorously, and respectfully; even – especially – when we disagree. This is all the more important at a leading public university.
With this in mind, and building on CEHV's work in support of Ohio State's Shared Values, we have created Civil Discourse for Citizenship, an initiative dedicated to promoting respectful debate across differences on campus and beyond.
New Civil Discourse Framework
Undergraduate Civil Discourse Fellows
CEHV annually awards competitive fellowships to eight undergraduate students to be trained in civil discourse. These CEHV Civil Discourse Fellows agree to plan and moderate the Civil Discourse Forums (below), as well as serve as ambassadors for civil discourse on campus.
Student-moderated Civil Discourse Forums
These forums feature a pair speakers who hold contrasting views on a controversial issue. They are moderated by our Civil Discourse Fellows. The first two Forums were held in Spring 2022 on the topics Should Open Societies Have Open Borders? and Can Markets Be Immoral? Our next Forum is on Sept 23, 2022: A Nation in Crisis: Are Guns the Problem?
Undergraduate Course on Civil Discourse
Our undergraduate course called Conversations on Morality, Politics and Society (ARTSSCI 2400/2400E) has been revamped as a stand-alone, experiential learning course focused on the principles of civil discourse that provides opportunities for students to engage Civil Discourse Forums, COMPAS events, and Columbus Metropolitan Club events. This course, designed and led by members of CEHV, has more than 35 students from 7 colleges enrolled for Autumn 2022.
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) major
The CEHV steering committee provides leadership for a new Ohio State undergraduate major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). Begun in Fall 2019, PPE now has nearly 190 majors. The major offers broad and rigorous training in the foundations of all three disciplines, enabling students to study the forces and institutions that shape the modern world from more than one perspective. The core courses then introduce students to a wide range of viewpoints, encouraging informed and respectful debate on contentious public issues. CEHV faculty designed and teach the core courses, support the undergraduate PPE Society, provide academic guidance, and mentor independent research. CEHV also provides financial support to the PPE program.