What is Agora?
The mission of the Agora Project is to utilize innovative strategies to promote appreciation and demonstration of the importance of civility, civil discourse, academic freedom and the responsibilities associated with academic freedom on Florida Atlantic University’s campuses, communities and the world at large. In ancient times the "agora" was the place citizens would gather to discuss matters of their shared civic life. The agora was the vibrant center of the city; a place where political issues of the day were debated, goods were marketed, scientific theories were exchanged, crowds were entertained by musicians or theatrical productions, and the community came together to socialize and share their lives with one another.
Why do we need it?
A healthy civil society depends on the ability of citizens to express themselves freely and to respect views that differ from their own. The dedication to a tolerant marketplace of ideas is at the core of America’s treasured democracy; we are more successful as a nation when we engage, rather than vilify, one another. The same is true of universities. They succeed best when they promote participation, freedom of expression, respect for differing opinions and the responsible pursuit of inquiry. That’s why schools such as Rutgers University, the University of Missouri and the University of Arizona have all launched civility and civic discourse initiatives similar to FAU’s.
What are we doing?
The Agora Project will reach out and listen to all members of the university community to better understand our points of pride and areas of common concern. It will evaluate and coordinate resources and expertise across our campuses to facilitate a dynamic and respectful campus culture. It will offer enrichment opportunities through workshops that address matters of our communal culture and discourse. It will host public debates on important topics of the day, showcase our exceptional students through contests, speakers’ corners, and volunteer and leadership opportunities and it will seek innovative ways to generate a healthy climate of civil participation and engagement in our campus communities.
Keep In Contact
We invite you to join us! Send us your comments or suggestions on how we might better promote an engaged and respectful campus climate. Participate in the surveys, events and contests we will sponsor. Become a follower on our Twitter account and friend us on Facebook to keep up with the events we have planned. You may contact the Agora Project at email@example.com or by contacting Dr. William Trapani (firstname.lastname@example.org), faculty member in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies and Project Director of the Agora Project. Dr. Heather Coltman (email@example.com), Interim Dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters and Dr. Corey King (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, may also be contacted about the Project.