Several members of University of Colorado’s Board of Regents are calling upon the college to implement a course on learning about the Constitution and civil discourse.
The proposal comes in the wake of heightened political violence, which has seen the rise of both the “alt-Left” and the “alt-Right” engaging in physical melees and riots, and assaults on police officers.
The proposal, which has bipartisan support from both Democrats and Republicans on the board, proposes teaching students “civic literacy.” The course will teach students how to debate effectively and engage in civil discourse without resorting to violence.
If implemented, the course will be taught across Colorado Springs, Denver, and Boulder campuses.
Campus Reform reported Thursday that five regents gathered during the board’s University Affairs Committee meeting on August 16 with the proposal. If included, it will become a part of the college’s core curriculum.
The publication notes that at least two of the five regents are registered Democrats, one of whom—Steve Ludwig—told the Daily Camera that graduates of the college do not have the civic literacy expected of them.
Heidi Ganahl, a Republican who supports the proposal, said that the proposed course should “focus on the founding documents and the key Amendments, the battles waged over our short history and how our institutions work.”
“We need to teach our students how to think and not what to think,” Ganahl said. “How do you have feisty, collaborative debate about subjects? Teaching students how to debate in a productive, efficient way that doesn’t drive people apart is important. Any education we bring around civics is also about how do you disagree without driving people apart.”
“It shouldn’t be challenging to disagree with people and not feel like you have to physically assault them,” echoed John Carson, a Republican.
Carson also proposed a professorship in capitalism, stating that a “wide range of diversity in intellectual thought” was important for students.
“I think what holds us together as a country is not race, geography, ethnicity,” he said. “It’s the Constitution. I don’t think we’re doing our job as adults passing on this amazing legacy to younger people.”