During spring term last year, some students and I knocked on office doors in the college of liberal arts reaching out to instructors to help us as faculty advisers with no avail. There was a point walking back from another failed attempt when we just wanted to hang it up and admit that this chapter was not going to work here at OSU. One year later after focusing our energy on making a small tight-knit group of dedicated students we finally saw some growth but still no faculty support.
This term as part of a learning assistant program, I saw an opportunity to introduce Bridge concepts into the classroom and to faculty. As part of this program we decided to research social interactions in the classroom specifically if there was self-censorship occurring. After contacting Heterodox Academy, and gaining permission to use their Campus Expression Survey, we gathered data from over 800 students and presented our findings at the Learning Assistant Expo this past spring.
As we stood by our poster nervous to get reamed by a slew of faculty for our controversial research, we were surprised when dean and professor alike came up to our team and congratulated us for our work! One in particular reached out to us and asked if he could use our research to help his discussions in his business ethics class next term. For me it was a moment to cherish that after being rejected by so many faculty members that this idea created so much attention at the expo. The need to promote a diversity of ideas on campus was present here at OSU!
It is a moment to look back and not give up especially when your university is counting on people like us to keep strong when faced with a challenge!
-Anthony Lusardi, President, BridgeOSU
See the results here! link