Dialogues planning moves forward

A picture of Pickler Memorial Library in broad daylight
The Dialogues are a new addition to the recently reformed Freshman Week schedule. With wide support, Truman's Undergraduate Council voted to proceed with implementing this program in fall 2019. (Photo by Daniel Degenhardt)

The motion to postpone the implementation of The Dialogues was voted down and they are still set to start in fall 2019.

Undergraduate Council Chair Justin Jarvis brought forward a motion to postpone the implementation in early November Jarvis said he brought the motion forward because he wanted to make sure no council members felt overburdened.

“The purpose of the proposal is to gauge support for our current progress,” Jarvis said. “The implementation of this core curriculum, The Dialogues, is an extremely huge amount of paperwork and just work in general. We are meeting multiple times a week, many hours at a time.”

Jarvis said it is absolutely possible to implement The Dialogues in fall 2019 and was pleased with the support that UGC showed to the original timeline by overwhelmingly voting the proposal down.

“I am happy to see that the large amount of support demonstrated at the beginning of the process has not waned,” he said. “If anything, it looks like faculty are even more committed to The Dialogues now than when we first started this process.”

Symposium committee member Kathryn Brammall said The Dialogues are something completely new to Truman State University.

Both the UGC and the Faculty Senate expressed disapproval for postponing The Dialogues. Meanwhile, Student Senate is pushing for a later start date.

“There is some concern from Student Government,” Brammall said. “They say they want this to be an excellent experience, and the faculty agrees with it. They are a little concerned that we are still putting it together, and it won’t be that. It won’t be like the symposium, a complete experiment.”

Brammall said the people who only see the end product might worry about the outcome, but the people who have been working on it the whole time can see how far it has come.

Brammall said she thinks the votes from UGC and Student Senate differ because of their roles in relation to the symposium.

“It is simply that we think of it from a different perspective,” Brammall said. “We want the same goal. We are just more sure we can get there by next fall, whereas the Student Senate representatives can’t imagine us at this point getting there.”

Symposium committee member Anton Daughters said the amount of time it takes for a big decision like The Dialogues to get through all the steps in the formal process can take a lot of time, but he thinks as long as the committees working on it buckle down, they can get it done by the deadline. Daughters said the faculty needs to recognize the urgency of The Dialogues, but he thinks that has been happening in the last few months.

As with all curriculum changes, there is a lot of work to be done and a lot of change to expect in the future. Daughters said there will still be changes to make once the final product is implemented.

“There will be some growing pains in implementing this, and I think that is just part of change,” Daughters said. “And I do think once we get this figured out, we are going to have a better curriculum, something that is more attractive to students.”