Community Agreements serve the function to shape the way in which the community — that is, the book club participants — behaves during shared time. Cognizant of the fact that these agreements need to be values shared by the community, we drafted the following example, but left time and space for the participants to edit or change the language of the agreement. For the Pilot program of Real Lit[erature] at the University of Washington, Tacoma, these agreements were not modified.
Real Lit [erature] Book Club
UW Tacoma, 2018
- Respect others’ rights to hold opinions and beliefs that differ from your own. When you disagree, challenge the idea, not the person.
- Be courteous. Don’t interrupt or engage in private conversations while others are speaking.
- Share responsibility for including all voices in the discussion If you have much to say, try to hold back a bit. If you are hesitant to speak, look for opportunities to contribute.
- Remember that we are working toward a common goal: discussing challenging issues facing our society and community, through literature.
For the Winter 2019 version of Real Lit[erature], we added a community agreement about respecting pronouns, cognizant of the sensitive nature of the materials we were discussing.