Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Secular Student Alliance holds workshop about disagreements

Thursday, February 15, 2018

From sandwiches to politics, everyone has different opinions which is why the Secular Student Alliance held a workshop to help aid students on how to disagree without getting confrontational.

Zach Mitchell, SSA member, explained how you need to pick your battles and understand what is being discussed.

“If something is being brought up that makes you feel uncomfortable or vice versa, wait until everyone is calm enough to actually discuss it,” Mitchell said. “It’s OK to agree to disagree.”

The workshop consisted of different icebreakers which had the audience re-evaluate a time they had a heated discussion over a topic they cared about. Examples of heated arguments brought up by a few audience members were gun control, a misunderstanding with an employer, and even Pokémon.

Another icebreaker subject was Jimmy John’s versus Subway. The object of this icebreaker was to have the teams explain why they preferred Jimmy John’s over Subway, or vice versa, as civil as possible.

Other tips shared during the presentation included working on active listening, focus on expressing thoughts rather than criticizing. Participants were also encouraged not to interrogate the person they are disagreeing with. Use facts when available and aim to clear the air not to win the argument.

“A lot of times the conversation is not to convince someone else,” Mitchell said. “Sometimes it is to convey your ideas.”

For more information on SSA, meetings are held at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the UC in the Tribute room. You can also like them on Facebook at SEMO Secular Student Alliance.