Lynn Students Kick Off Month of Civility

Lynn University students are on the vanguard of doing good for others, an idea that particularly resonates right now.  Next Wednesday, Feb. 28, Mayor Susan Haynie will visit Lynn to officially proclaim March “Civility Month” in Boca Raton at 2 p.m. at the Snyder Sanctuary on campus (above).

Lynn professor Dr. Robert Watson launched the “Project Civitas” 18 months ago which “promotes civility in politics and public life” at Lynn and in the community at large. (Lynn also has the “Citizenship Project” that promotes the principles of community service and citizenship.)

Some of Lynn’s initiatives toward creating a more civil society have included bringing Democrats and Republicans together to talk about the need for better cooperation, hosting reporters, anchors, and radio hosts to discuss “fake news,” hosting leaders from various religious faiths on campus to talk about interfaith dialogue and more.

Students are asked to make a pledge to be civil; many have signed a large banner that reads: “I pledge to cooperate, compromise and seek consensus in my public discourse and interactions with others.”  There are stickers all over campus, from office doors to ipads, and the campus is a “hate-free” zone, when it comes to sharing diverse opinions.

This declaration of Civility Month is particularly poignant with ongoing mass shootings, a sharply divided electorate and the rise in hate groups and inflammatory rhetoric across social media platforms.

“One of the greatest challenges facing our democracy today is the lack of civility in politics and public life.” Watson says, “ A healthy democracy requires a commitment to cooperation and the ability to compromise.”

Maybe with Project Civitas, the students—this time, at Lynn University—will help light the way.