Washington State University

Center for Civic Engagement

Public Forums

The Public Forum project is a public discussion initiative aimed to:

1. Involve the campus and extended community in civil discussion of critical issues,
2. Consider issues on local, regional, national and global levels, and
3. Reclaim the tradition and art of public discourse.

Students, faculty, staff, and community members are welcome to attend and participate in all Public Forum events. The CCE also welcomes new topics and ideas, so if you have a forum topic, email us! Visit the WSU Library Guide on the Public Forum Initiative for more information.


What Are Public Forums?

MY Voice LogoA public forum is an open discussion where citizens, experts, and leaders come together to share their thoughts and opinions on a topic. At WSU, the CCE's public forum program aims to connect WSU students, employees and community members through discussion on important issues that impact us all. All public forums are free, open to everyone, and everyone is welcome to share their thoughts on the discussion topic in a respectful way.

The CCE currently holds three types of public forums: debates (previously known as Under the Big Tents), reflections, and conversations.

Debates involve a group of panelists with varying opinions on a topic all sharing their stances on the issue. After the panelists share their views, the audience is invited to engage them in civil discussion through asking questions and adding their comments.

Reflections invite experts on an issue impacting our community to join students and others in a discussion of how the issue impacts us and what we can do to positively improve our community. Reflection creates a bridge between participation in service and understanding of the issues service seeks to address by providing a way to discover what we have learned from our DSCF2189.JPGengagement in service through observation and analysis of the experience and the impact of service.

Finally, conversations offer students and other participants the chance to learn more about a specific issue in an informal setting directed by experts on the topic.


Live Streaming

What if you can't make the debate, but you're interested in participating? No problem! The Center for Civic Engagement will be live streaming select events through AMS at mms://windowsmedia.wsu.edu/event (live stream) and http://chatanywhere.wsu.edu (chat feature). These events will also be recorded and posted on our YouTube channel, so you can watch the events at your convenience. To learn more about past events, click here. If you would like to ask questions of the panelists at a distance during an event, simply use the chat feature! Events available to students at a distance through live streaming will be noted in the event description. If you are having trouble accessing the AMS live stream system, please click here for instructions and help.


Upcoming Forum

Is Our Water Use Sustainable? (Debate)
Tuesday, April 22 | 12 PM - 1 PM | CUB Junior Ballroom
Water is essential to our existence. Given its importance to all aspects of human life, are we being reckless in treating water as an unlimited resource? Join a panel that includes environmental activist Emily Hunter, WSU faculty, and WSU students for this lively Earth Day debate! Please sign up on CougSync if you wish to attend.

Information and Resources

Spring 2014 Public Forums

1/23: Conversation
Inspired to Act: Activism for Social Change
Live Streamed

3/26: Reflection
Getting Back to Our Roots: Reflecting on the Sustainability of Our Food Systems

4/15: Reflection
Giving a Voice to the Voiceless: Advocating for Animal Welfare

4/22: Debate
Is Our Water Use Sustainable?
Live Streamed


Do You Have a Forum Topic in Mind?

Email us!

Discuss on the
WSU Library Guide


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Center for Civic Engagement, PO Box 647204, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-7204 | 509-335-7708 | fax: 509-335-3400| cce@wsu.edu