Moderators and Consultants

The Town Hall Program brings the campus to the community in the form of moderators and consultants. These individuals range in experience levels and occupations. Lawyers, City Council members, community advocates, business owners, and University personnel have all served as moderators and consultants for us. Moderators serve the important function of managing discussion during breakout sessions where around 30 students, who bring ideas based on a semester of inquiry, meet with these subject matter experts. The job of the moderator is to get the students talking about problems and solutions.

Later in the Town Hall students move to more intimate roundtables where they are joined by one or two consultants. In these intensive talks the consultants and students work to form action plans, which communicates to the student the potential of ideas to shape policies outside the classroom.

The Moderator Invitation and Consultant Invitation go out to members of the campus and community. A key function of the invitations is refreshing the person being invited on the purpose and format of the Town Hall. The invitations also help to motivate the potential guests as the letter contains links and information about the positive outcomes of the Town Hall for students. Another important feature of the letter is it comes from, and responses are directed to, a student assistant rather than the event coordinator. These documents also contain reminder options like emails and text messages. A large Town Hall can require 100 moderators and consultants; ensuring moderator and consultant participation is critical.

When Moderators and Consultants arrive at the Town Hall they are given a folder, the contents of which are listed on the Moderator Content List or the Consultant Content List. This is an important piece of communication for our guests and a useful reminder for us of what we need to compile in advance. Because our Town Hall is a campus-wide event we include a highlighted campus map with information about where to go and when.

The Roundtable Discussion Guide and Breakout Discussion Guide are critical instructions for our moderators and consultants, including veterans of the program, since the most recent session would have been at least six months ago. Key features of these guides include specific time frames to keep the events moving and tips to keep the discussions student-centered.