Shepherd University symposium explores restoring civility to politics

West Virginia

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — It seems that politics has become a blood sport, and a symposium at Shepherd University’s Robert C. Byrd Center is exploring how to make it more civil.

West Virginia Delegate John Doyle has been in office for most of the past 40 years and says things have changed. The Shepherd University forum is exploring how things might change for the better, and be more civil.

“It is much less civil now than when I first entered the legislature, and not just Democrat, Republican; but even within a party,” Doyle said.

Steve Bartletts, a student in the symposium, said it is important to “listen carefully to those running for office because they represent us, make sure they actually do represent us; and I think over time that might help heal the gap.”

Karen Rice at Shepherd said we need to “realize that we may have differences of opinion and that’s okay. You’re okay to have your own opinion but don’t attack me because you don’t like what I have to say.”

Dan Bennett, a former Capitol Hill aide, said that to restore civility, “it will take a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of hard work to be open to other people and their ideas.”

This is the tenth year of Shepherd University’s “Lifelong Learning” program. It is also Shepherd’s 150th anniversary.

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