At Florida State everyone has a seat at the table. The Power of WE is a student-led initiative that prides itself on creating an inclusive atmosphere that allows individuals to collaborate about politics and life experience as opposed to being divisive.
On Tuesday, WE hosted the Longest Table, an interactive session where students gathered at Landis Green on FSU’s campus and discussed climate change and environmental topics while chatting with one another. Students enjoyed free food and discussed key questions pertaining to the topic of the session.
“The Longest Table is an integrated event that gets people to talk about serious topics they wouldn’t normally talk about with strangers. This event promotes unity,” said Gabby Gajo, a junior at FSU.
WE intentionally utilizes public spaces for its campus exercises. A few exercises that take place at FSU are Picnic and Perspective, Big Kids. Big Questions and Chalkboard Conversations.
Picnic and Perspective is an exercise that entices student passersby to indulge in warm beverages and have conversation with people that they would have normally just walked by.
Big Kids, Big Questions provides an event where students are asked to plunge themselves in a ball pit and engage in deep conversation with a stranger. Surprisingly, when students are placed outside of their comfort zone in this exercise they discover some truths and realizations about themselves and the topic of conversation discussed.
The power of putting thoughts into writing brings people together in an unparalleled way. Chalkboard Conversations encourages students to pose questions and share their intellectual feedback on a giant chalkboard to make for riveting conversation.
This session of the Longest Table focused on six questions concerning the environment and how businesses, citizens and government play a role in the societal interpretation in managing the environment. The questions asked made the students reflect on what efforts they have made to sustain the environment. Students were also compelled to consider how they hold themselves, family, friends, businesses and governments accountable with the environment.
“I feel that businesses should be more vocal about environmental crises. They have the ability to market themselves to many consumer groups and spread the knowledge about what is going on in our world. It’s not about choosing a side, it’s about spreading awareness to society,” said social work graduate student Monica Flowers.
WE uses a unique formula to cultivate inspiration which is garnering ideologically diverse participants plus asking big picture questions which develops healthy discourse that inspires.
“We have the privilege and the honor of being directly under the office of the president. We serve as the diversity and inclusion initiative on campus that aims to bridge civic divides amongst people of different backgrounds and ideologies,” said the program’s assistant director, Josh Schulster.