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Civility Project Proposal

The civility project aims to promote civility at George Mason University.  This project will assess the benchmarks in the field of promoting civil engagement across colleges and universities in the US. Specifically, we are interested in learning and promoting the core values of civil interactions in highly diverse communities. Through this project we are hoping to initiate a dialogue across different constituencies to be able to establish and promote new standards of civil behavior across the university.  Potential methods for implementing these standards include development of: programming initiatives around the topic, Mason guidelines for civil behavior, protocols for uncivil behavior, curriculum focused on civility as it relates to various disciplines, etc.

Below is an outline of the programs and initiatives that we are proposing for this project:

a) Research Initiative: a student intern will conduct research to assess the benchmarks in the field of civility by conducting literature review and contacting other institutions with a record on civility initiatives

b) University 100 curricular component: a civility component will be developed and add to all the University 100 classes. These classes represent the 35% to 45% of the total freshmen class. This means that by the year 2016 approximately   ½ of the undergraduate student body will have an introduction on civility.

c) Certificate program on civility:  a new civility certificate will be created to foster a climate of civility at George Mason, and promote further studies and dialog in the field.  Students interested in the field may choose to complete the certificate program and/or students may be referred by various offices (Judicial Affairs, Academic Integrity, Housing and Residence Life, and the various academic units etc) as a means of  equipping these students with the tools required  to successfully navigate the university system and avoid further judicial and/or academic consequences.

d) Programming Initiatives: a number of collaborative program initiatives will be developed to increase awareness and create a culture of respect on campus. Some of the collaborations will include: Fall for the Book, Housing and Residential Life, Student Involvement, International Programs and Services, Center for Teaching Excellence, Human Resources etc.  Some of these programs may include hosting speakers/authors, conferences, develop a residential component, promote discussion on civility among international students through ‘The Campus Impact Forum’, and promotion of civil behaviors also among faculty and staff.

e) Marketing campaign on civility;   a campus wide civility campaign will be launched to increase and promote civil behavior among all members of the campus community. The slogan for the campaign that we are proposing is “Civility: Everyone’s Responsibility”.  Posters, t-shirts, signs etc that will reflect the slogan of the campaign will be distributed.