Kelly Sullivan/The AS Review

The Associated Students Productions Civil Controversy is hosting the first segment of the “Let’s Talk About It,” discussion series on Jan. 20, in Viking Union room 567. Called “How We Pay: Stereotypes about Paying for College,” the forum will be a participant-led conversation concerning the evolving ways students are dealing with rising tuition costs.

ASP Civil Controversy Coordinator Daniel Hagen will be hosting the group. He said that the forum may go any direction the students take it, but part of the discussion will focus on the different ways they are footing their educational bills.

“The goal behind it is to get people to talk about things, rethink opinions and push their intellects,” Hagen said. Common misconceptions might be dispelled through the conversations like the idea that all students using financial aid are poor, Hagen said, being on financial aid himself.

Former Civil Controversy Coordinator Calen Winn chose the issue of tuition payment. The decision was based on student feedback from the “Taste Test Survey,” available online last fall.  The survey, taken by 425 Western students, helped the AS gauge what kind of topics students wanted addressed in campus events.

Winn said the discussions usually begin with establishing “safe space guidelines,” where the student group goes over having civil and respectful discussions.  The rest of the conversation depends on the students.

In the past Civil Controversy productions have mostly been presenting speakers or films on current events, followed by a “talk back” session for students to voice their opinions and ask questions.

ASP Director Shalom Long said ASP is always striving to have offices that service the specific needs of students. Civil Controversy has changed to meet those needs, she said.

The small scale, personal dialogues the “Let’s Talk about it,” series provides allows students who don’t normally get together to talk and share opinions and ideas, Long said.