Our second day on campus conversation pushed on. In small sessions we tackled climate change and immigration. Students asked questions, answered each other’s questions and challenged each other’s viewpoint. We discussed the importance of checking our prejudices as we engage with one another. It is impossible to be void of biases but to be aware of them is crucial to having an open discussion. The ability for so many students to listen, talk and learn from one another represents the American spirit of civility. We also heard from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla who further stimulated our dialogue. He posed the question of “Aren’t you tired of hearing you are the leaders of tomorrow? Because I see you all as the leaders of today!” His enthusiasm radiated amongst my fellow students as we went off to lunch. I believe these students foresee themselves as being the leaders of today and are eager to make their fellow students believe the same. Conversations began to swirl about voter registration drives and how to get students out to vote. It wasn’t always joyous as differing opinions can raise blood pressure, but at the end of the day it came back to how can we engage our peers.
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