Day of Dialogue should be mandatory

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DePauw Dialogue 4.0
President Mark McCoy talks with a student during a breakout session in last year's Day of Dialogue NATALIE BRUNINI | THE DEPAUW

The Day of Dialogue’s purpose is to gather all of DePauw’s campus for conversation about complex issues occurring on and beyond the campus. The idea is that by talking and “practicing” dialogue, the problems encountered on campus will be resolved.

This day should be mandatory for a number of reasons, one being that the issues talked about on that day aren’t in a continuous conversation. It’s not enough to have one day where these issues are brought to light when nothing on campus is done to fix and address them. The conversation needs to be continuous in order to educate others and prevent any further ignorance on campus.

In addition, Day of Dialogue asks minority groups such as people of color to speak on behalf of others. DePauw has such a small population, especially for people of color, and Day of Dialogue forces those groups to use “we” statements rather than “I” ones. Day of Dialogue puts people of color on a pedestal for one day and “addresses” their concerns when in reality very little is actually fixed on DePauw’s campus.

Day of Dialogue also is not as inclusive in their issues that they decide to talk about. The last Day of Dialogue was much more focused on race, based on the start of the event with the keynote speaker and what she discussed. There are more concerns on campus that branch out of the People of Color community, such as issues within women’s rights and the LGBTQ+ community. The goal for Day of Dialogue should be to become more inclusive with the issues they focus on rather than pick and choose issues that relate to one topic.

The next Day of Dialogue should be mandatory, especially for those that feel they should not have to participate in these sort of events as they are the ones that need it the most. Educating people and working as a community to resolve these types of problems is the goal of Day of Dialogue. If people are not motivated to go on their own, none of these concerns will have a solution.