Image of panelists seated on stage during a Speak Up, Speak Out Forum.

Speak Up, Speak Out: The CMU Student Forum is a current event series at CMU that hosts town hall meeting-style forums to discuss important events and topics in the news.

In order to create a common ground for discussion, each forum typically begins with a video to provide relevant and useful information about the selected topic for the audience to analyze.

After the video, a panel of faculty, staff and students initiates discussion by providing additional information and insights, and soliciting responses from the audience. As facilitators, panelists model strong critical thinking skills, effective questioning, and civility in disagreement in order to engage the audience in open discussion and inclusive dialogue.

That doesn’t mean that panelists remain neutral on the topic under discussion, or that they agree with one another. Explaining how they arrived at their positions or why those positions are justifiable helps others see how to put together a reasonable and defensible position of their own. It is through learning skills such as these that each of us becomes a more engaged and effective citizen, capable of developing thoughtful positions on the issues, willing to listen to reasonable alternatives posed by others, and open to the life-long learning that enriches our own lives and the democratic society for which we are responsible.


SUSO was founded in the year 2000. It is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Communication and Fine Arts, Student Affairs, the Assessment Council, the Office of Diversity Education, the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the Center for International Ethics. 

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