How to facilitate difficult conversations between student groups: Opinion


Aftab Erfan (Simon Fraser University) has penned an article for The Conversation about the importance and limitations of campus dialogues. Reflecting on her experiences negotiating deep conflicts on campus such as between student groups during the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement, Erfan describes how she brought students with opposing viewpoints together in dialogue. The author describes using a group agreement that outlined how groups of students with opposing viewpoints would acknowledge each other, what labels and language they would or would not use, and even the pizza that they would order if the conversation went past a certain point of time. Erfan concludes by noting that while these conversations are not always appropriate nor a cure-all, “the capacity to be together is important to pick up while we are students.”

The Conversation