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Chemeketa hosts first of many civil discourse events

Poster for the Civil Discourse events. Photo by Lauren Murphy

On Oct. 29, Chemeketa Community College hosted its first civil discourse event. Students were given an opportunity to discuss gun rights with their peers in what Student Life advertised as a neutral, respectful environment.

The event was organized by Joel Gisbert, Chemeketa’s Civic Engagement Coordinator for Student Retention and Life, and Wylie Thompson, a student activist at Chemeketa.

“This is our first civil discourse event, so I carefully wanted to pick something that wasn’t too politically or socially charged,” Gisbert said. 

“For me, it’s an issue I’ve been active on for a long time, and I’ve been doing a lot of activism regarding. It just kind of seemed like the natural one,” Thompson said.

There were 18 students in attendance, which Gisbert and Thompson counted as a success.

Kunnearath Sok, a student from Cambodia, jumped into the conversation. “I was interested in talking about politics and some controversial topics, and this is one of the greatest opportunities to talk about it,” he said.

“I feel like we sometimes get into the bubble of hanging out around the people that have the same ideas as us, the same values,” said Jonathan Felix, another Chemeketa student who attended the event. “I’m just here because I wanted to get a little perspective.”

Thompson is looking to create a civil discourse club for students who want to participate more frequently in addition to the quarterly civil discourse events that are going to take place.

Student Retention and College Life will host another civil discourse event during winter term.

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