Lake Superior State University
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Loralei Premo

Loralei Premo '07
Biology Major

Communications and SPC Administrator, Drinking Source Water Protection Division of the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (Ontario)

"Most natural science classes at LSSU offer students as much hands-on experience (lab hours) as lecture hours, which ensures that the university experience prepares us for the real world careers, whether you work at a desk or out in the field, or both. There are endless advantages and opportunities available to LSSU students due to its location on an international border.

I found my career path on campus when my advisor posted a job for the Bi-national Public Advisory Council (BPAC), a group dedicated to and overseeing the clean-up the St. Mary's River. I was able to gain experience and network on both sides of the border, ultimately finding full-time employment before I graduated with my biology degree."

Parents at Lake State

“We have a choice about how we behave, and that means we have the choice to opt for civility and grace.”

  • Dwight Currie

Civility on Campus

Is “rude and crude” on its way out?

A culture of civility. What does that expression mean to you? Could it be a culture where:

  • People return shopping carts to the appropriate area instead of leaving them in the middle of a parking lot?
  • You regularly let others into lines of traffic?
  • A fellow passenger asks you what floor you need to go to and pushes the elevator button for you?
  • People don’t engage in complaint-fests?
  • Students don’t eat disruptively throughout classes or have numerous side conversations during meetings?
  • You get warning from the person in front of you before they lean their airplane seat back?
  • Rumors and gossip are not the norm?

An increasing number of campus conversations are centering on issues of civility. Faculty are concerned by student behavior in class and by students who “get in their face.” Rude comments and gossip circles concern students. Staff feel caught in the crosshairs of “supervisor bashing” or dealing with increasingly uncivil phone calls. In short, a growing culture of rudeness is a growing campus concern.

In his book, Choosing Civility (2002), Dr. P.M. Forni, the cofounder of the Johns Hopkins Civility Project and a professor of Italian literature at the university, explores not just manners or politeness but civility. “Being civil,” he writes, “means being constantly aware of others and weaving restraint, respect, and consideration into the very fabric of this awareness.”

Dr. Forni shares The 25 Rules of Considerate Conduct, many of which may seem like common sense yet offer a nudge for us all to be more civil beings. His rules include:

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Acknowledge Others
  3. Think the Best
  4. Listen
  5. Be Inclusive
  6. Speak Kindly
  7. Don’t Speak Ill
  8. Accept and Give Praise
  9. Respect Even a Subtle “No”
  10. Respect Others’ Opinions
  11. Mind Your Body
  12. Be Agreeable
  13. Keep It Down (and Rediscover Silence)
  14. Respect Other People’s Time
  15. Respect Other People’s Space
  16. Apologize Earnestly
  17. Assert Yourself
  18. Avoid Personal Questions
  19. Care for Your Guests
  20. Be a Considerate Guest
  21. Think Twice Before Asking for Favors
  22. Refrain from Idle Complaints
  23. Accept and Give Constructive Criticism
  24. Respect the Environment and Be Gentle to Animals
  25. Don’t Shift Responsibility and Blame

As more and more campuses embark upon formal or informal “civility campaigns,” chances are that they’ll end up becoming much nicer places to be.

Personal education...

Caroline Demary-Elliott

Caroline Demary-Elliott
Mathematics - Secondary Education

"Not only is LSSU close and convenient to my home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, but the atmosphere is very welcoming. All of the staff and students seem to be really open, and the teacher-to-student ratio is very personal, unlike larger universities." [ more ]

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