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Difficult Conversations

How to have civil discourse

All of us are around people whose life experiences and viewpoints are very different from our own. We may not understand their views. While we cannot know their life and their experiences, we can listen to one another, be empathetic and support each other.

As we encounter important, difficult or uncomfortable topics and conversations, we should reflect on our own individual humanity and what it means to be part of our community — in Emporia, on the Emporia State campus and in the larger Hornet Nation

These resources can be helpful.

Resources for Hornet Nation


ESU Counseling Services for students offers on-call counseling from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Student Wellness Center.

  • Scheduled appointments occur via Zoom for Healthcare.
  • For appointments: Call 620.341.5222 or log into Hornet 365 and use the Patient Portal tile
  • Anonymous conversations with a counselor are available through

Faculty + Staff

Faculty and staff can find support through the state’s Employee Assistance Program. If you have not already registered, you will need to create an account. ESU’s Organization Web ID is SOKEAP. Services are available by phone, also, at 1-888-275-1205 (option 1)

Tips + Resources Related to Online Harassment and Abuse

What you can do:

  • Conduct regular privacy checks
  • Talk to other people about what you want shared
  • Exercise care when sharing about other people
  • Seek help and support

Guides for protection and prevention

Online support

Zoom Tips

Civil Conversations

The United States Courts have outlined ground rules and examples written by other students to develop norms of civil discourse:

Free Expression Activities

Emporia State University recognizes and supports the rights of individuals and groups to engage in free expression. This policy shall be interpreted and construed to support such activities while simultaneously balancing the needs and interests of the University to fulfill its mission.

Free expression activities include informational picketing, petition circulation, distribution of information leaflets or pamphlets, speech-making, demonstrations, rallies, appearances of speakers in outdoor areas, mass protests, meetings to display group feelings or sentiments and/or other types of constitutionally protected assemblies to share information, perspective or viewpoints.

  • Fewer than nine people can use outdoor spaces on campus — no free expression activities may occur within university buildings, arena or stadium.
  • Groups of 10 or more may plan events in three areas of campus:
  • Union Square
  • Phipps Sunken Garden
  • Open quad between Beach Music Hall, King Hall, Memorial Union and Roosevelt Hall
  • In all cases, those interested must:
  • Submit in writing a request to Conference + Scheduling in the Memorial Union (the office has a form to fill out);
  • Make the request at least 72 hours in advance

ESU Conference + Scheduling also has information about use of sound amplification devices, signs, length of time for the event and other requirements.