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Climate, Homelessness Featured at October Deliberative Dialogues

Climate, Homelessness Featured at October Deliberative Dialogues


Understanding and finding solutions to controversial issues begins with conversation. At SUNY Cortland, Deliberative Dialogues allow people with different ideas to come up with an action plan that works toward a solution at a local level.

Homelessness and climate-extreme weather conditions are two topics of national importance that also have local consequences.

Deliberative Dialogues are led by Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE) Action Team Interns, who will host two events in October.

“Addressing Temporary Homelessness” will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in Old Main Colloquium. Coordinated by Action Team member Callan Klasek, a business economics major, the event will feature Andrew Lunetta, creator of the “A Tiny Home for Good” Program in Syracuse, N.Y. Lunetta will discuss ways of modelling his program in Cortland. Habitat for Humanity Director of Development Jean Rightmire, who is part of the Cortland County Homelessness Consortium, will also participate in the discussion, as will representatives of Catholic Charities, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cortland County, and the Southern Tier Homelessness Coalition.

The topic was proposed by College Store Director Terence Cahill, Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC), who sparked ICE interns’ interest through his concern for the county’s homeless.

“Preparing for Climate-Enhanced Extreme Weather Events in Cortland County” runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, in Park Center Hall of Fame Room. 

In addition to the ICE Action Team interns, the following organizations will be represented at the discussion: The City of Cortland’s Environmental Advisory Committee, SUNY Cortland’s Campus Sustainability Office and Generation Vote.

Deliberative Dialogue attendees are required to participate in the discussions, which result in action item agendas. To register for either dialogue, contact Institute of Civic Engagement Director John Suarez.

Eight interns planned two dialogues for the fall semester. The first dialogue, held on Constitution Day in September, was on the topic “Freedom of Speech on the Public College Campus.”

“Deliberative Dialogues help identify shared values, which is one step in a process of collaborative decision-making on controversial issues,” said Suarez. “We will use those shared values to design and take actions that nurture additional civil and productive discussions on campus and in the greater Cortland community.”