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Iowa State Univ. encourages open conversation, understanding amid mask, vaccine discourse

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:32 AM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (WOI) - Iowa State University is encouraging Iowans to have open conversations about masks and vaccines.

WOI reports ISU is hosting a conference on deliberative democracy this week.

During the pandemic, decisions on wearing face masks and getting vaccines have become political divides across the country.

Political Science Professor Karen Kedowski from Iowa State University says understanding another person’s stance is critical.

“Think about it in terms of putting yourself into somebody else’s shoes,” said Kedowski. “It shows much more empathy and understanding about why decisions are made may not go your way, or to understand if they do go your way, that it might come at the cost of somebody else.”

On Wednesday, events will focus on encouraging Iowans to engage with people they may not agree with.

“There’s a way that we can have civil conversations and really explore issues without engaging in negative personal attacks, trolling, or any other really toxic,” said Kedowski. “It’s also important for us to sit down and talk with and listen to people who don’t agree with us.”

Iowa State University does not require COVID-19 vaccines. But it does require masks on Cy-Ride and in certain buildings.

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