College life can lead to a melding of cultures and ideas never before mixed. It can give way to crankiness from lack of sleep and caffeine or short tempers from homesickness. A thriving campus filled with courtesy and politeness may seem a distant thought.
A polite and respectful campus, however, is the goal of Shepherd University’s Civility Response Team.
Joseph Jefferson, director of cooperative education and chair of the CRT, stated that the Civility Response Team was co-founded on campus in 2005 by Dr. Tom Segar and Dr. Richie Stevens. Their goal was to create an organization that served as an outlet for Shepherd community members that had experienced incivility.
Members of the CRT strive to aid the community with a variety of options to assist with responding to incivility. Their mission is to promote respect, value diversity, advocate and educate the Shepherd community.
The CRT is available at new student orientations and residential assistance trainings. The members also attempt to respond to incidents of incivility within the campus by offering their services to facilitate discussions, workshops or forums to voice concerns of the community.
Dr. Heidi Hanrahan, English professor and member of CRT, would like the team to be a continuing resource for the Shepherd community.
Hanrahan said, “If students experience incivility, I want them to know there are people there for them. I want them to know who they can go to for help.”
Consideration has been given to the idea of student membership within the team, but students are not permitted to become members at this time.
Jefferson said that this “relates to the fact that we are a resource established with the primary goal of serving students.”
Jefferson wants the team to be an option for those who may be unsure of how to respond to incivility they may witness. He encourages all community members in the ongoing promotion of courtesy and politeness.