Dialogue Groups FAQ

How often will my dialogue group meet? 

We will ask groups to meet four times each semester (fall 19, spring 20, fall 20).  In addition, group members can optionally choose to attend several large (all group) events across the span of semesters that we will provide for enrichment, celebration, and cross group sharing.  

How long will each meeting be?

We envision 90 minute meetings, but your groups ultimately decides.  

How big is a dialogue group? 

We expect that your group will have six to ten participants.   

Who is facilitating these groups?   

Your group will have two co-facilitators.  Please let us know if you’re willing to be one of these co-facilitators.  Co-facilitators will be provided with brief training ahead of time and support as needed throughout the life of the groups. 

When will the group meet?  How will the times for group meetings be scheduled? 

Once we have put together your group, your group’s co-facilitators will help you schedule based on input from each of you in the group.  If a difficult schedule conflict becomes apparent for your group, we’ll help try to find a solution.   

What will we actually do when we meet? 

All the dialogue groups will have a guidebook to follow.  It will provide a pattern for your group meeting:  a way for the co-facilitators to open the session, prompts for discussion and thinking or planning, a way to engage your study materials, and a closing for the session.  You’ll have flexibility to go where your topic takes you within a provided structure. 

Will we have a chance to learn what other dialogue groups are doing? 

Yes.  We want the groups to learn from each other and we want the institutions as a whole to learn from the groups!  There will be large (all group) events to structure this sharing, and in the final semester of the group we will build into the four group meetings particular opportunities for sharing your work.   

I am a quiet person.  Do I have to talk a lot in the groups? 

You are welcome to be a more quiet participant.  There’s no requirement for how much you talk.   

Can the group members change? 

Ideally your group will hold steady throughout the three semesters.   If changes need to occur or if people move away, we’ll help you manage the transition.   

I want to seriously study a topic, not just discuss things.  Will the groups do that? 

Yes, your group will take on a topic related to inclusion and you will ultimately make recommendations to the wider campuses based on your study.  We will provide you with resources on your topic, with input from you. 

I want to have meaningful conversation with other people, not just study a topic.   Will the groups do that?   

Yes, your group is not a class but a committed group of people coming together for discussion for the sake of personal, group, and institutional change. 

How will we report the institutional changes we want to see? 

As you move through your group meetings, the guidebook we provide will make sure that reporting out is built in throughout and particularly in the final semester.  We will be sensitive to ways we can help report your suggestions for institutional change as the Becoming Community Team on your behalf if this is necessary because of any vulnerability you may feel in going public with these suggestions.   

I see that students, staff, faculty, monastics, and community members can sign up.  Am I going to be the only student in a group of faculty members or the only staff member in a group of students?   

We will strive to balance each Dialogue Group so it has a mix of people who have different roles in our communities.  This mix will ideally serve to strengthen the suggestions for institutional change your group creates. 

What if I must be away during the life of the group?  What if I go on leave?  What if I go abroad? What if I retire or graduate?

Please sign up anyway.  As things occur to take you away, your co-facilitators can help make your exit and return fit in the life of the group. Participating virtually is a possibility.  

Can I sign up if I'm a junior now?

Yes!

What if there is conflict in our group?   

Your co-facilitators can help, and your guidebook will also have pages to consult when things get tough.  The Becoming Community Team is also available for support.  We can visit your next group meeting or provide support to your co-facilitators. 

Why do these groups meet for multiple semesters?   

The three semesters will give the space and time for you to both get to know each other and get to know your topic, so that your group can gain deep traction on personal, group, and institutional change.   

What are the goals of these groups? 

Dialogue Group participants will be able to: 

1) Listen to one another as individuals in different roles on or around our campuses (staff and faculty and students and monastics and local community members); 

2) Respond to one another and discuss together throughout three semesters of group life; 

3) Analyze a topic related to our campuses and inclusion; and finally, 

4) Recommend strategies for institutional change based on their group’s work. 

What if I fill out the interest form but change my mind later? 

It's okay.  But please go ahead and fill out the form--we’re ready to hear from you!