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viewpoint

Converging a common ground

| Monday, September 30, 2019

Nowadays, politics seem inescapable. Although the 2020 election remains over a year away, the Democratic primary is in full swing. Contentious issues like gun control, immigration reform and healthcare are constantly being discussed and debated. Our round-the-clock focus on politics can be both frustrating and exhausting.

On campus, much like the hyper-polarized American public, discussions surrounding politics usually take place between like-minded people. Why debate issues with someone of a different view when they are never going to change their minds? It seems hopeless and pointless. 

Student Government’s Department of Community and Engagement wants to help change that mindset. To foster a stronger and more fulfilling dialogue between people of differing political views, we are excited to announce the second annual round of Converge conversations.

Converge matches people of differing political views for a conversation about how each person got their political beliefs, different misconceptions people have of their party and questions they have for the other side. Our goal is not to create more dead-end political debate between people of differing views but to foster a healthy discourse between people of opposing views. We hope people see that they have more in common ground than originally expected, creating a foundation for more purposeful discussion in the future. 

We are proud to work with campus partners like NDVotes, BridgeND, College Republicans and Democrats, and Civic Duty South Bend to launch this initiative. Sign up at https://studentgovernment.nd.edu/what-were-doing/converge/. The Converge Kick-Off will take place tonight, Sept. 30, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Dahnke Ballroom. Whether or not you sign up for a Converge conversation, we hope to see you there for a model Converge conversation between the presidents of College Democrats and Republicans.

We will never all agree on contentious issues. However, through Converge, we can have a better understanding of why people believe what they believe and realize that we are not as different as we thought. 

Alex Yom

Student Government Director of Community Engagement and Outreach

Sept. 17

senior

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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