UMiami opens new center to foster civil discourse
U Miami seeks to help depolarize Americans by facilitating cross-partisan discussions.
Institutions of higher education in Florida have been making strides toward achieving more neutral political environments on their campuses.
The University of Miami in Florida recently launched the George P. Hanley Democracy Center with the aim of depolarizing Americans through civil discourse and exporting democracy abroad.
Leonidas Bachas, dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences stated that the university’s “proximity to Latin America also places us in an ideal spot to study democracy in the Americas and beyond.”
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Speaking to the domestic mission of the center, George Hanley, entrepreneur and namesake of the center, told News@TheU that “[p]eople need to have civil discourse.”
He continued to explain that through “civil discourse with people, we are much closer in views than the cable news shows would have us believe.”
Political Science professor and chair of the center Gregory Koger stressed the deterioration of democracy in the United States and falling trust in democratic institutions as issues the center ought to address.
Institutions of higher education in Florida have been making strides toward achieving more neutral political environments on their campuses. Governor Ron DeSantis has made it a legislative priority to remove political bias from college campuses in the state.
The University of Miami has had trouble handling free expression in the past.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education gave the University of Miami a “red” speech code rating 2 years ago, signaling that it “ha[d] at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech” over its internet harassment policies.
FIRE’s Director of Policy Reform, Laura Beltz told Campus Reform in previous coverage that harassment was too broadly defined by the policy, leading to the university restricting “speech that is protected under First Amendment standards.”
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Campus Reform reached out to the university to ask about this policy in the context of the new Hanley Democracy Center.
The center’s inaugural initiative seeks to foster cross-partisan discussions on climate change in south Florida.
All relevant parties have been contacted by Campus Reform; this article will be updated accordingly.