National Issues Forum

In partnership with the National Issues Forum Institute, SOCHE has launched Student National Issue Forums. National Issues Forums (NIF) is a nonpartisan, nationwide network of locally hosted public forums for the consideration of public policy issues. It is rooted in the simple notion that people need to come together to reason and talk — to deliberate about common problems.

Our NIF Student Leaders are organizing four forums on issues important to them and their campus communities (listed below). Each forum offers campus and community members the opportunity to engage in deliberate dialogue, search for common ground, and diplomatically create solutions to societal challenges.

The forums, led by a neutral moderator, utilize both small and large group discussion. Forum participants work through an issue by considering three or four different approaches; examining what appeals to them or concerns them, and also the potential costs, consequences, and trade offs of following that approach. The ideas generated during the forum are submitted to the Kettering Foundation for review and compilation in national reports.

Faculty Mentor

David Bodary

Sinclair Community College

SOCHE Liasons

Kimberly Weaver


Sandra Wild


NIF Events


Immigration in America: How do we Fix System in Crisis?
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Miami University, Farmer School of Business Room 0025
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Human Trafficking: How Can Our Community Respond to this Growing Problem?
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Miami University, Benton Hall Room 102
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Shaping our future: How Should Higher Education Help Us Create the Society We Want?
Saturday, February, 18, 2017
Wright State University, Apollo Room
9:00 a.m. Start time

Safety and Justice: How Should We Ensure Everyone Feels Safe in Our Communities?
Monday, March 6, 2017
Central State University, JISC Auditorium
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity?
Monday, April 12, 2016
Sinclair Community College
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity?
Monday, April 4, 2016
Wittenberg University
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Racial and Ethnic Tensions: What Can We Do?
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Sinclair Community College, Building 8 Stage
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Racial and Ethnic Tensions: What Can We Do?
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Antioch College McGregor Building
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Bridging & Bonding: How Can We Create Engaged Communities in a Time of Rapid Change?

Changing economic conditions and technological innovations, including the increasing use of mass and social media, have transformed our personal lives and our communities. Today, individuals may bond more strongly with an online community or colleagues at work than with their neighbors. How can we build and sustain engaged communities in this time of rapid change?

Saturday, September 13, 2014
Wittenberg University Student Center
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

What Is the 21st Century Mission for Our Public Schools

From the very start, Americans have held widely divergent views on issues related to public schools. Many of these have to do with the methods by which we achieve an educated society. How do we ensure that our schools are accessible to all children? By what means do we hold students accountable for learning and schools accountable for teaching them? What is the role of families in the education of their children? What is the responsibility of schools in addressing social issues that affect their students? What is the most efficient and fair way to fund public education? Underlying all of these questions is a more basic one: What is the mission of our public schools?

December 2014
Sinclair Community College
Building 7, Rom 7006
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Immigration in America: How Do We Fix a System in Crisis?

The costs and benefits of immigration have always been debated. But as we work our way out of a tough economic recession, some wonder whether newcomers, especially those arriving illegally, are compromising our quality of life, taking jobs away from those already here, and threatening our security and sovereignty as a nation. The question facing Americans today is how to create a system that meets our diverse needs--a system that values the role immigrants play in society, takes heed of today's economic and legal responsibilities, and keeps us strong and competitive in the future.

Friday, January 23, 2014
Multicultural Millennium 14/15 Conference
Wright State University, Student Union
10:00 - 11:00 a.m., 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

The Changing World of Work

There is a pervasive anxiety in America about the future of higher education. Spiraling costs combined with seismic changes in the American workplace raise questions about whether a bachelor’s degree is still worth the cost. In a recent cover story, Newsweek magazine asked: “Is College a Lousy Investment?” For a growing number of Americans, the answer appears to be yes.

Today’s students accumulate an average of almost $30,000 in debt by the time they graduate. They will go into a job market that looks especially bleak for young people. Many college graduates are unemployed or working minimum-wage jobs. Still more are working in jobs that don’t require a college credential. Some of the troubles facing new graduates can be attributed to the post-recession economy. But there are larger forces at work that are transforming the nature of employment in America—forces that colleges and universities have been slow to recognize, much less respond to.

We will present three options for deliberation: 1) Prepare Students for the Job Market; 2) Educate for Leadership and Change; and 3) Build Strong Communities.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Stander Symposium
University of Dayton, Roesch Library
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.