Diversity Education

New Student Dialogues

New Student Dialogues invites all incoming first year and transfer students to elect into critical dialogue topics relevant to the Clemson community. Completion of a workshop is required to pass CU 1000.

Seventeen undergraduate Peer Dialogue Facilitators, as a part of the Creative Inquiry Program, have researched and designed 17 dialogue topics through which incoming students can connect and learn essential dialogue and intercultural communication skills. Dialogues are comprised of 30 Clemson Students, and over a period of two hours the group will explore and process the significance and salience of social identity. New Student Dialogues address a range of social issues involving but not limited to race, spirituality, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and ability. 

Outcomes of this program:

  • NSD participants will be able to define at least 3-5 social identities.
  • NSD participants will be able to articulate how they personally identify related to a particular social identity.
  • NSD participants will be able to describe what they have learned about at least one other participant in the dialogue (related to social identity and/or life experience).
  • NSD participants will be able to identify appropriate times when dialogue can be used a form of communication.

All incoming students are asked to register for ONE section of New Student Dialogues. Our Dialogue options are detailed below:

NSD: Where do you go to church?: A Dialogue on Religious Expression in the US

  • In a country that is 78% Christian, the expression of Christian religious faith is abundant. This expression, however, leads to the suppression of religious minorities in places that range from convenience stores to college campuses. In this dialogue participants will explore everyday discriminatory practices made towards religious minorities in common places.

NSD: I Woke Up Like This #nofilter: A Dialogue on Body Image

  • Today's media has shaped and formed society's image on what "beauty" is. This unrealistic view has caused both men and women struggle to become something they were not originally made to be. This dialogue seeks to challenge our understanding of beauty and the impact it has on our lives.

NSD: "feMALE or nah:" A Dialogue on Gender Stereotypes

  • Gender roles come with a high level of expectations. We are constantly expected to dress, behave, and believe certain things based solely upon our gender. However, why do these standards exist? This dialogue seeks to challenge participants to investigate the origins of their understandings of gender and better understand its impact on their lives.

NSD: "There's Something in These Hills:" A Dialogue on the History of Clemson

  • Clemson has had a unique impact on South Carolina since it's founding. However, there are both positive and negative facets to its history. This dialogue challenges students to look at the racial history of Clemson and the impact it has on the students, staff, and faculty today.

NSD: I Too Am Clemson: A Dialogue on Race

  • Our society has been having intense conversations across racial lines recently. Issues such as stereotypes, assumptions, word usage, and more have come up in several arenas. This dialogue seeks to challenge our students to discuss the implications of race at Clemson, where less than 10% of the student body identifies as people of color.

NSD: Cost of the College Lifestyle: A Dialogue on Economic Status

  • Economic Status is an issue that can often be looked over, as a result creating ignorance. This dialogue aims to create awareness on issues impacted by economic status and to help students gain an understanding of its implications on a college campus.

NSD: Defining the Southern Woman: A Dialogue on Gender Roles and Regional Stereotypes

  • Gender stereotypes exist in all cultures. However, there are certain notions of what a woman in the South looks like compared to anywhere else in the United States. This dialogue challenges students to examine their own assumptions and discuss the implications of this stereotype on Clemson's campus.

NSD: How Accurate is Your Gaydar?: A Dialogue on Stereotypes and Sexuality

  • Our culture teaches preconceived stereotypes about how non-heterosexual people appear, dress, talk, or act. These stereotypes allow people to believe they can accurately predict an individual’s sexual orientation based on certain signs. These assumptions can lead to isolation and discrimination. This dialogue challenges participants to not only analyze their own assumptions but also to explore the implications they have on all people.

NSD: It's Not You, It's the System: A Dialogue on Power and Privilege

  • The words power and privilege have been discussed at length recently in political and social spheres. But what do these words mean? How do they impact our day to day lives? This dialogue seeks to challenge our students to understand the implications of cultural teachings at a day-to-day level.

NSD: Let's Party: A Dialogue on the Impact of a Party Culture

  • This dialogue will examine the effects of a riveting social life available as a Clemson student.  The dialogue will touch on topics like alcohol, consent, and blurred lines.

NSD: Let's Talk Body to Body: A Dialogue on Body Image and the Media

NSD: Macklemore Isn't So Great: A Dialogue on White Privilege

  • In a world dominated by privilege, many people are unaware of the affect privilege actually has on our society in relation to how we interact with one another, as well as our careers. It is important to become aware of an individual's sense of privilege, whether it affects us positively or negatively. In this dialogue, participants will dive into the topic of privilege, define it, and become aware of how it is seen, usually unknowingly, in our everyday lives.

NSD: Old Enough to Know Better, Too Young to Care: A Dialogue on Age

NSD: Separation not Isolation: A Dialogue on Race

  • This dialogue seeks to analyze the behaviors and involvements of different groups at Clemson. Participants will be challenged to examine their assumptions as well as the culture of Clemson as a whole.

NSD: The Many Sides of the American Dream: A Dialogue on Economic Status and Politics

  • Take a minute to think about a person you encountered who you can consider of a “higher” class than you. Now take another minute to think about a person you encountered who you would consider of a “lower” class than you. Can you imagine those two people interacting with one another? In this dialogue, we will explore the impact socioeconomic status has on human interaction, reexamine the American Dream under the lens of distribution and allocation of wealth, and challenge the stereotypical assumptions of class members based on political affiliations.

NSD: There is No Faith in the Clemson Family: A Dialogue on Religiosity at Clemson

  • South Carolina sits in what some call "the Bible Belt." Because of this, religiosity has a deep impact on this area of the world. This dialogue seeks to understand the impact this can have on Clemson's campus. Students will be challenged to investigate the role religious culture plays on their life, no matter their internal belief systems.

NSD: White Men Can't Jump: A Dialogue on Racial Stereotypes

  • We often categorize people before we even meet them based on the color of their skin. This dialogue focuses on seeing racial/ethnic privilege and understanding how it manifests itself into different identities.  Students will be asked to explore what role race and ethnicity have in their own lives and on the Clemson campus.


Following your Dialogue, you are expected to complete a reflection assignment on your experience. This assignment can take the form of either a recorded VLOG [Video Blog] or a photo journal. Details for your assignment are included under 'New Student Dialogues' in the Assignments tab located in the left navigation bar.

For more information, please contact Becky Morgan, Associate Director of Social Justice Education at rmorga2@clemson.edu.

Clemson Connect

New Student Dialogues is a core component of Clemson Connect, a program designed to transition new students to life at Clemson. Clemson Connect is a series of activities scheduled throughout the first semester. For more information on Clemson Connect, please follow the link below: