GUSTalks and IUS listens

GUSTalks+and+IUS+listens

Josh Medlock

Three award-winning IU Southeast professors shared insight into what makes a good teacher, student, and citizen at the first annual GUSTalks on March 17 in the Ogle Center.

GUSTalks, which was created by the IU Southeast Student Government Association, stands for “Growth, Understanding, and Social Responsibility.” Similar to TED Talks, the purpose of the event is to spread the ideas of our society’s greatest thinkers.

 Cliff Staten, political science professor and final speaker, discussed every citizen’s duty towards social responsibility, even in our highly-individualized society.

Cliff Staten, political science professor and final speaker, discussed every citizen’s duty towards social responsibility, even in our highly-individualized society.

Stephanie Collins, the GUSTalks event chair, said she was driven to do this event in hopes of benefitting IU Southeast and students in the future.

“I wanted to do whatever I could to leave a way for future students to show how great our campus is.”

Kyle Haus, SGA senator and member of the GUSTalks committee, said the SGA’s goal with these talks was to raise awareness of IU Southeast in the community at large.

“We hope to bring in not only more future students but also future leaders.”

The three speakers focused their talks on this goal of educating future students and citizens.

Bernardo Carducci, psychology professor and the first GUSTalks speaker, said students will gain a better understanding of the world through exposure to a diversity of ideas while in college, which will help them improve their society.

“Developing a healthy tolerance and appreciation for a diversity of ideas and opinion is the precursor to developing an all-inclusive society where everybody’s opinions matter.”

In his closing, Carducci told students to graduate and use the multitude of skills they gained at IU Southeast to better the world around them.

“Live your life with gusto, using all the knowledge, skills and abilities that you have been given in your college education.”

Gloria Murray, Dean of the School of Education and second GUSTalks speaker, focused her talk on the role of teachers in social responsibility.

“The teacher’s role in social responsibility is seeing teaching as saving the world one child at a time,” Murray said. “It is the act of making a difference in the life of a person.”

To illustrate this, Murray mentioned a program she and some of her IU Southeast colleagues started in 2005 through a grant that allowed them to work with various New Albany organizations to send one free book every month to children who were living in poverty.

Cliff Staten, political science professor and final speaker, discussed every citizen’s duty towards social responsibility, even in our highly-individualized society.

Staten said his parents’ generation, coined “The Greatest Generation” by famous journalist Tom Brokaw, understood social responsibility better than we do today.

Quoting Mr. Griffith, his first boss as a teenager in West Virginia, Staten said, “In this country, individual freedoms come with an obligation. That obligation is to give back to the common good.”

Staten challenged students to, like generations before them, view social responsibility as a necessary duty.

“Make social responsibility a primary part of your identity, a primary part of your individual culture.”

Zoe Rea, business economics junior and president of the Student Veterans Organization, said she left GUSTalks feeling inspired.
“It was fantastic. The speakers have all inspired me individually. I really enjoyed myself.”