Democracy, Change, College.
These are just some of the topics that we, 25 college students from all across the nation attempted to dissect this week at our Student Engagement workshop. As a very diverse group of students, we have come together to share our thoughts on democracy revealed through our eyes and deliberate what we can do to improve our schools, communities and world.
To get to know one another, we gave each other mock interviews, asking ourselves and others what democracy is like on our campuses. We found that every campus is different, but most feel that students are engaged somewhat through extracurricular clubs and activities. We also uncovered our thoughts on democracy through a game where we divided into groups and had to portray a word with our bodies. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to represent “democracy” without saying a work! Through this, we were all able to get to know each other better, and work together to create a solution. Essentially, our dialogue resulted in an answer of how a word should be portrayed.
Finally, we participated in what is called a “World Cafe.” With six different tables with six different questions, students were able to roam freeing around the room to discuss the questions with their peers. For twenty minutes at a time, you might have found yourself discussing the United States global spread of democracy, democracy on campus, talk vs. action, or perhaps the most complex question of all: what IS democracy?
The first day of our student engagement workshop was a success! The students involved are all unique and bring their own ideas to the table, and we were able to really get to know one another through out activities. Day 2, here we come!
Lesley Burkert is a junior at Wake Forest University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Communication. She is participating in the Student Engagement Workshop at the 2006 Public Policy Workshop.