Faculty at MSU can get involved with MRULE through classroom-RTD collaboration. Roundtable Discussions provide an engaging dialogue for students to learn from their peers and discuss a variety of topics (from sustainability to racism to gender and beyond). If you would like to learn more about getting involved with MRULE RTDs, contact Jeanne Gazel for more information.
A Look Into One Collaborative Partnership
Dr. Jessica Garcia has been in a collaborative partnership with the MRULE-ICA program for the past 3 years. She offers an experiential learning option to her students in lieu of the final exam in her courses on Race and Ethnicity (SOC 215), Sex and Gender (SOC 216), and Integrative Studies in Social Science (ISS 210). This option requires them to attend a minimum of 8 MRULE Round Table Discussions (RTDs) over the course of the semester and to write a final paper reflecting on their learning and the connection between course themes and discussion topics.
On average, about 1/3 of her class chooses the option. She has learned that students who participate in this option demonstrate increased confidence in expressing themselves in a diverse group. They also gain a greater cultural understanding of the nuance and complexities needed to meaningfully address social problems through perspective taking in conversation with difference. Additionally, students who participate in this option consistently report gaining a greater understanding of the course material as well as having a greater appreciation for the topics discussed at MRULE based on materials they’ve addressed in class.
“MRULE forced me to draw connections between concepts learned in the course, current events in our society, and personal experiences. By making stronger, more applicable connections, I was better able to compare and contrast different social ideas, draw more conclusions, and in turn, ask deeper and more thought-provoking questions. My performance in this course was excelled by MRULE and its ability to make me grow, not only as a student, but as a thinker.”
“The activities facilitated in MRULE help concepts hit home for many participants. It is both less intimidating and more palatable to have discourse on these social issues with our peers rather than from a lecture. They do a great job of equipping the participants with skills to look at the world through a more intersectional lens, discuss divisive issues, and coexistence.”
“I appreciated that I didn’t always have the same opinion as everyone and so therefore I was able to learn from them because I could hear their side of the story. Sometimes I believe that people don’t want to listen to other people and get the whole picture, they only want their half. But MRULE helps you to step out of that and be more well rounded.”
“MRULE actually was a great studying tool because it did make me think and want to learn more about the topic of discussion. I think going to MRULE actually enhanced my performance in the course, I saw my exam grade improve slightly and I was more open to talking in class and read outside of the course.”
“I think attending MRLUE meetings made me more interested in the course material. In MRULE I was able to hear people talk about real scenarios where they had experienced discrimination, then hear about the reasoning or culture behind this discrimination in class.”
“MRULE has helped me improve my communication skills a lot. I have become more comfortable talking about various racial topics that I wasn’t comfortable and educated on beforehand…People should learn how to disagree and they should learn how to keep an open mind. They don’t have to change their minds but everyone should learn how to listen to other people that they don’t agree with.”