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RCTC students talk about civility

'Pizza with a Purpose' is bringing students together to have difficult conversations in a respectful, compassionate manner.

Posted: Oct. 30, 2018 5:46 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester Community and Technical College invited students and faculty to sign a 'Yellowjacket Pledge,' a dedication to practice respect, responsibility, civility, compassion, and integrity. RCTC is holding a 'Pizza with a Purpose' series for students to talk about what each of those values mean while enjoying some slices.

The first event was held Tuesday on the topic of civility. Students participated in a roundtable discussion on what civility is, and how to engage in dialogue with people they don't share experiences and views with.

Student Guydan Sakor attended the discussion. As a Syrian immigrant, he tells KIMT that he practices civility when discussing immigration law with friends. "We get into a little bit of a big discussion and, you know, keep it respectful... Nobody likes to lose a friend," he says.

Director of Student Rights and Responsibilities hopes that the first session of civility will lay groundwork for conversations held in the next sessions. "Within our own national dialogue if you look at it, it's really difficult for us to have conversations across areas of difference," she explains. "I think if we can provide a space here for our students to do that in a way that they can learn and grow, make mistakes, be supported in that, and learn something from that so they can take that out into the community, I think that's really our responsibility as an institution to do that."

The next session will be held in November on the topic of compassionate learning. The series is expected to run at least through the end of the semester.

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