Discussion Etiquette and Guidelines

The purpose of this organization is to facilitate open and civil discussion about complex worldly topics and encourage understanding between individuals with differing opinions. Meetings will involve a voted-upon discussion topic which will be introduced with a brief article or video followed by an open, respectful, educated discussion.

During these discussions, you are expected to behave in a standard set by the Bylaws in the Students for Open Discussion constitution. They can be summed up by the following:

  • Address each participant with respect
  • Be tolerant of all ideas
  • Keep an open mind and empathize with others
  • Do not interrupt (verbally or nonverbally)
  • Do not knowingly use offensive names or terms

We don’t expect everyone to agree, or even accept other ideas. However, it is expected that everyone is tolerant and open to exploring opposing ideas. If you come expecting to only express your views, then you may be asked to leave.

If someone violates said standard twice in one meeting, the individual who made the violations may be forced to leave the meeting. A violation is when an individual disrupts the Meeting Protocol or commits one of the acts described under Bylaw Section IIB.

Sensitivity Disclaimer:

Some people may have experienced or know someone who has experienced the sensitive topics we may discuss in SOD. Please be respectful of this and keep in mind when commenting and sharing opinions. If at any point you yourself feel uncomfortable and unable to participate, please feel free to leave the discussion at any time, put your head down, or tune us out. We encourage you to practice self-care however that may look. That being said, the purpose of SOD is to initiate difficult dialogue in order to build connections between our members. We hope views will be challenged, difficult conversations will be held, and sensitive topics touched.

Safe Places Disclaimer:

All in all, please know that SOD is encouraging of a safe and respectful space for all members to express themselves freely, and we encourage you to do so. While conversations are encouraged to continue outside of our SOD meetings, be respectful of members who do not wish to continue the conversation outside of SOD. If any member feels as if SOD is no longer a safe place for them, please communicate with an officer.