Tackling “us-versus-them” thinking on campus: Opinion


An “us-versus-them” attitude on campus can shut down productive debate while also discouraging other students from sharing their own opinions, writes Daniel Diermeier for the Chronicle of Higher Ed. To combat the tendency toward polarized “tribalism,” the author argues that postsecondary institutions should provide an “abundance of open forums,” exercise principled neutrality, and ask students to “uphold civil discourse as a core value.” Diermeier concludes by emphasizing the importance of helping students to “maintain a broader definition of ‘us’” in order to prevent tribalistic thinking and maintain a culture of debate in higher education.

Chronicle of Higher Ed (Acct. Req.)