Uncovering Salient Issues Through the Eyes of Campus and Community Members

Bemidji State University signed a formal agreement with MN Campus Compact April 2016. Since that time, we have moved forward with our 6-year plan by first assessing perceptions of the BSU and community of Bemidji relationship with a combination of surveys and focus groups. By understanding current perceptions, wants, and needs across campus and in the community, we can work towards building rewarding relationships that benefit members of the university and the community in which we live.

Important political and social issues surround our campuses and local communities, which become the focus of many problem-solving initiatives. But how do we determine which issues to choose? Or which issues are most salient? Often the dominant voices are heard, and others are muted. Thus, it is important to create opportunities and spaces for voices to be invited, and issues to be identified. This presentation provides an overview of a process plan to uncover issues, as seen through the eyes of our campus members and community partners. We will share results and lessons learned from our data gathering. We invite participants to tell their stories, To perhaps find commonalities across communities, and identify potential collaboration of problem-solving.