Conversation events to promote anthem dialogue

The ongoing discussion regarding the playing of the National Anthem, known as “Listen and Learn,” will shift from a “surveying” phrase to a “sharing” phase over the next several months.

While a survey sent over Christmas break collected a range of people’s opinions, the months of February, March and April will hold opportunities for people to share these opinions collectively.

Opportunities for sharing will come in scheduled events on and off campus for all interested students, faculty and alumni. The conversation events will be hosted by the Listen and Learn Steering Committee, which was formed to collect responses concerning the anthem’s Listen and Learn process.

For students interested in participating, a convocation on Wednesday, March 9 will initiate dialogue about the anthem. In addition, there will be a conversation-geared event on Tuesday, March 22 in the dining hall. Both of these events will evaluate what the anthem means to students at Goshen College.

For administrative faculty and staff, several on-campus events will be offered. The next upcoming event will be a meeting on Wednesday, March 2 at 10 a.m. in the College Mennonite Church Koinonia Room.

For alumni and other friends, gatherings will take place across several regions of the country. The next upcoming event will occur from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Ind.

Results of the Listen and Learn survey sent to students, faculty and alumni are being evaluated and presented to the Goshen College Board of Directors. Though the results may be made public at some point of the Listen and Learn process, they are currently unreleased.

The feedback received through the Listen and Learn survey and the conversation events will contribute to a review of the anthem decision in June 2011. The steering committee hopes that all members of the campus community can attend at least one of the planned events to offer valuable input.

“To really represent the complexity of the issue, we need to hear from those who support the decision, oppose the decision, and those who are either ambivalent or who are tired of the issue and see other priorities as more important,” said Larissa Faust, co-facilitator of the Listen and Learn Steering Committee.

For a full timeline of the National Anthem issue, or for more updates of upcoming conversation events, visit http://www.goshen.edu/news/pressarchive/01-22-10-national-anthem395/timeline.html.

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Written by Becca Kraybill

Becca Kraybill is the fall Editor-in-Chief of The Record. She is a fourth-year English Writing major and enjoys waving to babies in the grocery store.

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