The Southwestern Pennsylvania Program for Deliberative Democracy

Campus Conversations

Carnegie Mellon University is applying the concept and practice of deliberative polling at the campus level. The result of this effort is to (1) create social capital within the student body, (2) raise the level of campus-wide discussions of important issues to new levels, and (3) highlight the virtues of campus diversity, as this is embedded in the nature of deliberative polls.

These campus-wide polls will be held twice yearly on matters of relevance to the campus community. Each poll will educate the campus community about the many facets of, and interpretations of, the issues to be discussed.

The first campus-wide Campus Conversation was held Saturday November 19th 2005. The poll addresses two overarching topics: the nature of a diverse campus community and the interplay of moral values in private and public campus life. Among the questions that students will consider are: Is Carnegie Mellon providing you with opportunities to understand, confront, and resolve the difference that you find in different cultures? Are there specific steps that you think would facilitate communication and respect among the different ethnic and social groups on our campus? What role, if any, should the university have in addressing some of the ethical and legal issues that might arise on a campus like ours? How should we think about and respond to "file-sharing" as it relates to copyrighted materials?

Campus Conversations Website

The Carnegie Mellon site for this initiative can be found at

Project Leads

Randy Weinsten, Coro Fellow in Local Democracy
Mike Bridges, Social Scientist
Susan Lawrence, Document Designer

© Copyright 2005 Southwestern Pennsylvania Program for Deliberative Democracy