Office of the Chancellor

"Let's Talk About It" Discussion Series

"Let's Talk About It Discussion" Series

The "Let’s talk about it" Discussion Series is a student-led, student-created and student-oriented program designed to develop proactive, informed and conscientious citizens and future leaders by providing a forum for respectful and substantive discussion of contentious issues relevant in today’s world. The series will exemplify civil discourse within our campus community through organized discussion among student panelists, hosted by ASUCI. The topics selected for panel discussions will be relevant and interesting for students, staff and faculty**. A post-discussion reception will follow each event so participants can delve deeper into the topic, explore communication styles, or simply enjoy good conversation.

**The positions taken by panelists during the discussions do not necessarily reflect their personal viewpoints.

Students attending each event will need to present their UCI Student Net I.d.

2019-2020 Schedule

10/16/2019 - Gun Control: The In’s and Out’s of the Gun Control Debates through the Viewpoints of a Couple of Anteaters

About one third of Americans report owning a gun (Gallup Poll, August 2019) and even more state that they live in a gun household (about 43%). Gun ownership is ingrained in American culture and a central part of the United States Constitution (Second Amendment). Due to mass shootings, however, more people are debating gun control and increasingly calling for more gun control measures. Recent surveys (NBC News - Wall Street Journal survey, August 2019) suggest that a large majority favors background checks and a ban on sales of semi-automatic weapons. So the question arises, “Do Anteaters agree with this shift of thinking? What are their stances on the issue of gun control?” These questions will be interrogated at UCI’s very first discussion as part of our student-lead, student-created, and student-oriented discussion series.

Moderator: Dashay (ASUCI)

7-9 p.m. - Crystal Cove Auditorium, Student Center


November 6 -

The Impact of Words: Hateful Speech and Mitigating Harm on Campus

Freedom of speech, an essential right safeguarded by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, serves as a core principal of university education. This includes protecting hateful speech. Should ugly and offensive speech be protected, or would American society be better off if we punished certain expression? With growing polarization in American society how do faculty and administrators create spaces for respectful and robust debate? How do university leaders advance campus dialogue and further viewpoint diversity while simultaneously valuing inclusivity and equity? How do we respond in the face of speech that targets students because of who they are? These are some of the issues Anteaters will explore during the second installment of UCI’s student-led, student-created and student-run discussion series.

7-9 p.m. - Crystal Cove Auditorium, Student Center


Moderator: Michelle Deutchman, Executive Director, UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement

The Writing Center Workshop Series

This workshop series provides students with a unique opportunity to develop skills and ways of thinking about debate, argument, and persuasion in contemporary society. Each expert workshop presenter and facilitator focuses on a particular aspect of debate, from effective listening to considering multiple viewpoints. Join us for an interactive learning experience to help you consider how you might become more persuasive and argue more effectively.

Where: The Writing Center, Science Library 193 

When: Thursdays, 5-6:30pm 

Space is limited. RSVP for the workshop below.

2019-20 Schedule

Below are the dates for the workshop series. 

October 17 - “Do Wake the Neighbors: Navigating the Town Hall”

When we speak to public representatives, our words can echo throughout the community. Using examples drawn from UCI student activism, Writing Specialist Courtney Santos offers strategies for tactful and effective public comments and preserving social capital during local debates.

Courtney Santos, Writing Specialist, Center for Excellence in Writing and Communication
Register Here

October 31 "The Death of Halloween: How to Use Narrative History as Argument"
Tracing the genealogy of an idea or cultural practice can be more than an interesting historical exercise: it can be a powerful tool of persuasion. In this workshop we'll explore the history of Halloween and use that history to build an argument about American social dysfunction. Halloween, like other "carnivals" that transgress the normative order, has long served to vent the steam of cultural conflict. But in the context of "liquid modernity"—which sees the continual denaturing of normative structures and in which transgression becomes ubiquitous—the function of Halloween has atrophied, leaving the steam of conflict to build pressure unabated. Can Halloween still serve a cultural function for an "anti-culture"? If so, what are the implications for campus politics?

Justin Lee, Writing Specialist, Center for Excellence in Writing and Communications
Register Here

November 14   “Beyond Pro and Con: Complexity and Nuance in Argument”
This workshop uses a case study approach to map the topography of argument – situating personal positions among common ones. By tracking an issue to its origin and mapping where we personally first encountered it, participants are encouraged to ask rhetorical questions about how controversial issues are framed for the public, while locating their own assumptions about these common argument positions.

Amber Clontz, Composition Lecturer and Writing Specialist, Center for Excellence in Writing and Communication
Register Here