students by helping them build stronger and
more inclusive campus communities.
The SD process helps students to take ownership
of the challenging task of improving strained
relationships and transforming the climates on
their campuses. Through facilitated
dialogue between diverse community members,
students can create a safe space for others to
take on the tough topics and improve relations
among campus groups. Ultimately, this
helps student leaders and those around them to
become change agents in increasingly diverse
campus and global communities.
What does an SD Program Look Like?
Students are asked to meet regularly and explore topics of their choice with individuals who they wouldn't have otherwise had any space to interact. These discussions are held frequently; some groups meet twice a month, others meet once a week.
Each SD group consists of 8-15 participants who are asked to repeatedly meet with each other. This group is most well-suited for SD when it is reflective of community diversity. We help campuses form as many groups as possible each year, engaging hundreds of students.
Run by Students
Two students, trained by SDCN, moderate each groups' dialogue meetings, not professors or outside facilitators. SD student leaders organize the dialogues and the tasks surrounding creating an active student group on campus.
Dialogues focus on probing a particular subject that divides the community, especially those that are often ignored or seen as normal. Each group of students works towards a collective action designed to engage others and address these problems in the larger campus community.
Student-created Events and Action
Dialogue participants and SD student leaders both organize events aimed at turning their dialogue content into useful changes in the university community. Some groups choose to make recommendations to administrators, some choose to hold well-publicized, awareness-building events, others choose to hold film screenings, forums, and town-hall meetings. The resulting action is created with the input of the diverse members of dialogue groups.