State University System of Florida Will Analyze Civil Discourse Efforts

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Photo of Florida’s Historic Capitol and Florida State Capitol
Photo credit: Michael Rivera, CC BY-SA 3.0

Officials from the State University System of Florida want its public universities to analyze diversity and inclusion efforts in the wake of the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

This week, Florida Board of Governors Chairman Sydney Kitson unveiled a new initiative on addressing civil discourse during a State of the System address at New College of Florida in Sarasota. The project seeks to obtain a better understanding of diverse viewpoints, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

The initiative will require the Board of Governor’s Strategic Planning Committee to create an action plan on how the state’s university system can improve civil discourse on campuses. 

“Civic discourse, conducted in a civil manner without fear of reprisal, is critical to free speech and ensuring academic and intellectual freedom – not just on our university campuses, but throughout our country,” Tim Cerio, Florida attorney and head of the committee that is charged with making the action plan said in a press statement.

During the address, Kitson noted how he was both “angered and saddened” by the U.S. Capitol attack by extremists on January 6, and says now is the time for peaceful unity to address the polarization and aggression that has become prevalent in society.

“In my view, differences of opinion, experiences, and backgrounds provide the foundation for understanding, learning, and growth. It is how we make each other better,” Kitson said during the address.

Kitson did not specify when he wants the committee to submit the recommendations.