Diversity Education

New Student Dialogues

New Student Dialogues invites all incoming first year and transfer students to elect into critical dialogue topics relevant to the Clemson community. Completion of a workshop is required to pass CU 1000.

Twelve undergraduate Peer Dialogue Facilitators, as a part of the Creative Inquiry Program, have researched and designed 16 dialogue topics through which incoming students can connect and learn essential dialogue and intercultural communication skills. Dialogues are comprised of 30 Clemson Students, and over a period of two hours the group will explore and process the significance and salience of social identity. New Student Dialogues address a range of social issues involving but not limited to race, spirituality, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and ability.

All incoming students are asked to register for ONE section of New Student Dialogues. Our Dialogue options are detailed below:

NSD: Where do you go to church?: A Dialogue on Religious Expression in the US

  • In a country that is 78% Christian, the expression of Christian religious faith is abundant. This expression, however, leads to the suppression of religious minorities in places that range from convenience stores to college campuses. In this dialogue participants will explore everyday discriminatory practices made towards religious minorities in common places.

NSD: I’m sexy and I know it: Strong Men, Beautiful Women

  • Has anyone ever commented on your clothes or your hair; even your body size or skin color? Beauty standards are constantly changing in our country especially with the increased availability of social media, and there are countless double standards and stereotypes about beauty for different racial identities. This dialogue invites participants to explore the biases and stereotypes surrounding beauty and body image and racial identity.

NSD: The Sexual Politics of Hooking Up

  • Hooking up happens. However, the cultural response to people who engage in these behaviors has a clear division on the gender lines. In fact, it is often seen as more socially accepted for men to be promiscuous than women. This dialogue seeks to examine the different perceptions of sexual behavior in men and women and have a better understanding of how these different perceptions impact our views of ourselves and others.

NSD:  Paying for Equality: Female or Re-male?

  • Though the gap has shortened, there still exists in our culture a break between perceptions of men and women in a professional setting. This dialogue seeks to understand the different perceptions student have of gender and the working world as well as raise awareness of the discrimination that happens in the work force.

NSD: Mental Health in College Students

  • In a recent study, almost 1/3 of college students reported experiencing symptoms of Depression. Yet mental health is often seen as taboo in our culture. This dialogue seeks to raise awareness about various mental health stereotypes and educate students on the realities of struggling with mental health issues while seeking an education.

NSD: Am I a good person?: A Dialogue on Religion and Morality

  • How can people who don’t have a religion be moral? It is often assumed in our culture that a person can only be moral if they ascribe to a religious organization. This dialogue seeks to break down stereotypical assumptions of various belief systems and better understand how people learn about morality and behave in our society.

NSD: Invisible Inequalities?: Is it only skin deep?

  • We often categorize people before we even meet them based on the color of their skin. This dialogue focuses on seeing racial/ethnic privilege and understanding how it manifests itself into different identities.  Students will be asked to explore what role race and ethnicity have in their own lives and on the Clemson campus.

NSD: Boys Don’t Cry: A Dialogue on Vulnerability and Gender Roles

  • Our culture puts strict definitions on what is masculine and what is feminine. These definitions can be confining to anyone who strays just a little from the “norm.” This dialogue focuses on the discomfort we often associate with vulnerability and gender roles. Students will be able to explore their own assumptions as well as the way masculinity and femininity are portrayed in society.

NSD: Higher Education: Right or Privilege?

  • The United States of America prides itself in being one of the country where everyone is afforded an “equal opportunity for education” however, this is not always the case. Socioeconomic status plays a major role in the opportunity for a quality education in the U.S. In this dialogue, participants are asked to explore the effect that SES has on education.

NSD: Quit Being so Sensitive: The Power of Microaggressions

  • A blonde, brunette, and a redhead walk into a bar…” Our culture often uses humor as a way of alleviating tension. But it can also be a means of alienating various groups of people. This dialogue seeks to understand the relationship between everyday words and behaviors that can be unintentionally hurtful.

NSD: Colors of the Wind: A Dialogue on Interracial Dating

  • Interracial relationships are now common in our society. However, there are many stereotypes that exist regarding our perceptions of interracial couples. This dialogue seeks to address that many perspectives on interracial dating while clarifying issues within various racial and ethnic groups.

NSD: Conformity is the Enemy: A Dialogue on Group Think

  • This dialogue will focus on the dangers of groupthink.  We view it as an important topic because we feel that incoming students do not think about some of the associations that they become a part of and partake in groupthink.  We will expand this idea to the greater Clemson campus, the United States and the world and discuss different us vs. them mentalities and why they may exist.

NSD: It’s never funny and it’s never OK: A Dialogue on Rape Culture

  • Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. You may know not to accept a drink from a stranger at a party, but did you know that 93% of sexual assault victims know their attacker? What about that 1 out of 10 rape victims is a man? And 1 out of 4 Clemson women will be assaulted before she graduates. This dialogue invites participants to explore the biases and stereotypes surrounding rape and share experiences breaking down those stereotypes regarding sexual orientation, gender, consent, and more.

NSD: Welcome to Southern Culture!: A Dialogue on Regional Stereotypes

  • Every region of the United States comes with its own set of stereotypes and assumptions. Southern culture is no different. However, many of our stereotypes speak to serious issues such as race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. This dialogue focuses on discussing the stereotypes that exist, our understandings of these perceptions and to know down the walls that divide us before we even know each other.

NSD: The Community Action Poverty Simulation: An Experiential Dialogue

  • About, 15.1% live in poverty every day. Many more have incomes above the poverty line, but with incomes still low enough to qualify for programs like Food Stamps and Medicaid. This experiential dialogue provides participants with the opportunity to assume the role of a low-income family member living on a budget in order to better understand the experiences of people living below or near the poverty line.

Following your Dialogue, you are expected to record a VLOG [Video Blog] reflecting on your experience. Details for your assignment are included under 'New Student Dialogues' in the Assignments tab located in the left navigation bar.

For more information, please contact Becky Morgan, Associate Director of Diversity Education at rmorga2@clemson.edu.

Clemson Connect

New Student Dialogues is a core component of Clemson Connect, a program designed to transition new students to life at Clemson. Clemson Connect is a series of activities scheduled throughout the first semester. For more information on Clemson Connect, please follow the link below:


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