Project Pericles hosted a six hour workshop Oct. 1 in the Wismer Bears’ Den lounge. The workshop focused on helping students create strategies to effectively advocate change fueled by their own passions and values. Titled “D4D on the Road,” (Debating for Democracy), students are encouraged to use their voices to initiate change in our democracy. Project Pericles is a non-profit organization that helps educate and encourage college students to be active and engaged citizens. The workshop was led by “The Center for Progressive Leadership”, a nonpartisan training institute based in Washington D.C.
Ursinus student Max Lehner said he valued the chance to interact with others at the event. “It’s a great opportunity to learn about civic engagement and communicate with peers about contemporary issues. I think it’s a really great way to interact with students from other schools and gain from their perspectives,” he said. Students from Widener University, a fellow Periclean institution, also attended. Each of the attendees came committed to furthering their leadership goals.
The workshop focused on persuasive tools to enable students to effectively communicate their viewpoints. They discussed ways to improve their arguments and the components that go into a credible proposal. They learned about the relationship between research and emotion and the way this relationship can be used to persuade and connect with others. Students practiced implementing these tools by sharing some of their own stories. They saw firsthand how important it is to establish a connection with those you communicate with.
Joy McDermont, an Ursinus student, talked about some of the knowledge the workshop helped her attain, “It definitely helped me to become more aware of the process in an argument. I never had really thought about the specific strategy in an argument, and how important it is to implement this if you are passionate about the issue you are trying to address,” she said. The experience was a unique opportunity for students to recognize the power and significance behind their actions and beliefs. – Allison Cavanaugh 2013