The 2006-2007 Common Experience: "Protest & Dissent"

"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- Abraham Lincoln

"I dissaprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." -- Howard Zinn

Upcoming Event:

Earth Day - April 16, 1:00pm, Evans Liberal Arts, Room 116. For more information click on "C. E. Calendar".

New Resource:
For VIDEO of the Isabel Allende event:
click here

The Common Experience is a year-long initiative of Texas State University-San Marcos designed to cultivate a "common intellectual conversation" across the campus, to enhance student participation in the intellectual life of the campus, and to foster a sense of community across our entire campus and extended community.

Details regarding all components of the Common Experience are accessible by way of this website, so please explore for additional information, and, most of all: Welcome to the Common Experience.

The 2006-2007 Common Experience will engage in a campus-wide discussion of "Protest and Dissent: Listening to the Voice(s) of America." It has at its center the idea that the United States of America is a heterogeneous nation, one with many voices. Rather than the idea that we as a nation have only one perspective or belief, students are encouraged to explore the idea that many people view many ideas in very different ways, and that as students and Americans it is their responsibility to recognize that others have a right to dissent from both their own personal beliefs and the beliefs of those in power. Further, they also have the right to dissent from others' beliefs as well. How we respond to and listen to those whose beliefs are different than our own is, however, key.

The theme of "Protest and Dissent" is intended to stimulate Seminar discussions on all aspects of critical evaluation and decision making from one's personal life to the larger arenas of university life and beyond. Challenging basic assumptions and accepted norms is at the root of every pursuit of knowledge and clearly at the core of the very fabric of our democratic ideals.

Learning to listen, learning to think, making just evaluations, and acting to fulfill our roles as United States -- and world -- citizens, we must understand the roles that protest and dissent have played throughout history. We must also prepare ourselves for those situations which may ask us to place our own personal values on the line.

Students and members of the community will have a chance to hear Luis Valdez when he visits the campus to discuss the events and social conditions which inspired his play; this and other presentations can provide a platform for discussions of stereotyping and discrimination which our societies continue to engage in.

A full range of Common Experience events are planned for both Fall and Spring semesters and can be seen by clicking on the Related Events link.

Co-Chairs of the Common Experience:
Dr. Pam Wuestenberg & Dr. Nico Schüler
Common Experience Assistant: Reagan Pugh