RCL 2: Why deliberate?

It is clear to me that framing a discussion as a deliberation rather than a persuasion style discourse can have a lot of positives effects on the participants. In general, it seems that deliberation encourages the participants to be more inquisitive, tolerant and participative than a persuasion environment that causes the participants to become defensive and narrow sighted. The following aims to summarize and explore the effectiveness of deliberation and to highlight tools and techniques that can be used later on during my team’s deliberation based on Scott London’s article “Thinking Together: The power of deliberative thinking“, and “Framing for deliberation” by Allison Kadlec and Will Friedman.

London emphasizes throughout the article that the reason deliberation is an effective method of framing a problem is because it focuses on thinking as whole to agree upon a solution rather than having individuals argue which solution is more effective. The role of the moderator is minimal, a role which involves simply ‘getting the ball rolling’ and outlining the topic that will be discussed. This allows the participants to be able to express their own understandings, ideas and dilemmas rather than get into discussions about values. Ultimately it’s effectiveness is based on the idea that allowing people to think together rather than separately eliminates conflict and creates a system which encourages teamwork and collaboration.

Similarly, Framing for deliberation highlights many of the same points but mainly the fact that all of the participants involved in the discussion feel more inclined to share and collaborate and not fight. The participants in a persuasion group seem to be more likely to rehash the same issues, and have to get stuck on issues without progress. A deliberation styled group is more effective because there is no right or wrong answer, rather a group of people trying to solve a problem. This type of group dynamic proves to be effective because it allows for solutions to be generated that are independent of group values and dependent on the means to a solution.

It can be concluded that the main reason why deliberations are effective is because they avoid conflict and are inclusive to different opinions and beliefs. They focus on the method of obtaining a solution rather than possible solutions. In my deliberation, as I am tasked with writing the issues guid for the third approach, I must keep in mind that the goal of this type of frame is to not provide a judgement, but instead to present the problem and to open a dialogue that can then enable the people in attendance to present their opinions and relate to the problem.

RCL 1: Deliberation

The Nu Era of Greek Life: Can We Make Fraternities Beta? How Should It Be Delt(a) With?

This deliberation aims to bring to the attention of the community some of the issues surrounding fraternities and how these affect the safety of the community and the individuals that are members. We aim to lead the deliberation with respect to three different approaches: The fraternity as a national organization; The University and its role as an overseer; The member as an individual and his responsibility. Through these three different frames we aim to effectively discuss what the roles of each actor are and how we the public can solve some of the issues that affect us and the community as a whole.

Within the deliberation my role is to lead approach three (the brother as an individual) alongside Matthew. We will research the topic in order to successfully lead the discussion. In order to gain some insight we are aiming to conduct some research; a survey of some members of a fraternity in order to gain an understanding of why the joined and what their goals are as a member. More along the line we will contribute to the issues guide which aims to give an overview of our approach, summarizing the key points and some of the discussion prompts we will use.

Currently we are in the research and preparation phase, we are gathering our information and constructing and conducting the survey. Within the coming weeks we aim to have a full outline of our information and a clear path that we wish out deliberation to follow.

RCL 0: This I believe script.

This I believe

Picture this. You wake up and realize the power is out; naturally you are running late and have 25 minutes to eat breakfast and shower before your first class all the way across campus. The madness begins. It seems absolutely nothing could possibly be going your way today. You brought the wrong notebook to the next class. After that an unexpected trip to the restroom throws you even further off schedule to the point where you’re late to your quiz. The stress is unreal. After that you think about all the homework you have to finish tonight and that midterm that slowly but surely is sneaking ever closer. The work has piled up so naturally you should get to work as soon as possible because that can make things better right? No, of course not.

Think about it, do you really want to continue the rest of your day with that negative momentum you have going? I mean, part of it has to be luck but the fact that you already characterized the day as a bad day means that you already have a predisposition to negative outcomes. So, kill the bad streak. Restart the day. Take a nap. Seriously, just 17 minutes set aside every day to relax and regroup from the accumulated stress changed the way I look at my life. It really makes more sense than it sounds like at first. But whether I am tired or just stressed, taking a moment to breathe and doze off for a while has the potential to re-write the script of an otherwise disastrous day.

Even though it seems like I’m procrastinating or not using my time wisely, napping helps put me in a better position to get my everyday tasks done. It forces me to organize my day and to set small and focused goals which can make daunting tasks doable. It’s short enough that I don’t start a sleep cycle, which would make it impossibly difficult for me to wake up. But its long enough for me to rest, and that’s really the goal of it.

After the nap, I always wake up calm and with a newfound clarity, almost as if I found a way to slow down the pace to a day that seemed to be going a thousand times faster than what I could keep up with. I believe that napping can improve the quality of my everyday life and improve my efficiency when I’m working. It keeps me energized, relaxed and even better than that I have at least 17 minutes a day where I can keep my mind off the things that give me anxiety or cause me to worry. It’s all about discipline, if I know that I take no more that 10 minutes to wake up and then I get straight to work right after. I can hit the ground running and continue my day knowing that I relaxed and reenergized. Taking a nap gives me confidence and determination that would otherwise be fading as the day goes on. Because of my 17-minute nap I can handle anything that comes up after it in that day.