Discussions begin promptly at the scheduled time. Arriving late is acceptable on occasion but is discouraged as it can be quite disruptive. We ask that participants arrive at the scheduled meeting room at least ten minutes before the start time.
Upon arrival participants are given name tags and are assigned a table. Each table holds 8-10 people and is led by a moderator who will help guide the conversation while ensuring that required etiquette is adhered to. While moderators are prepared with discussion prompts to get the conversation going, it is strongly encouraged that individuals ask their own questions, share their own confusion, and offer their own insight into the topic. The depth and quality of discussion is greatly enhanced when participants are actively engaged with the topic at hand.
The discussion formally ends one hour after the scheduled start time, however participants are welcome to stay longer.
Part of the appeal of ThinkTank is that it gives students the opportunity to exchange views on disputatious topics in an informal, conversational environment.
To create and maintain this atmosphere we ask all participants to remain mindful of how they express themselves. All perspectives are welcome and encouraged, but they must be communicated respectfully and thoughtfully. We believe this final point is especially important.
While ThinkTank gives you the ability to share your ideas within the conversation, we expect you to show the same respect to other participants.
Good conversational etiquette:
"Can you clarify what you mean by that?"
"I see where you are coming from, but I don't know if I agree."
Poor conversational etiquette:
"That doesn't make any sense."
"And your point is?"
A little conversational tact goes a long way in creating a more enjoyable and productive experience for everyone. Participants who repeatedly interrupt, become overly animated or emotional, or otherwise diminish the respectful atmosphere will be asked to leave.