Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is Times Talk useful?
In the digital age where we use cell phones, text messages, blogs, Twitter, and surfing the Internet to access news, the bygone era practice of reading a newspaper and discussing current events offers a great opportunity. Students participate with no expectation of class credit, grades, or projects, only the chance to engage in civil discourse with university community members representing a diversity of disciplines and points of view.
2. How do we start a Times Talk program?
Launching a Times Talk program is as easy as finding a common time and place and persuading enough faculty, staff, and students to facilitate one or more discussions during the academic year. Depending on the institution's size, a campus-wide, mid-day session works for some and on larger campuses multiple sessions in academic or residential settings are possible.
3. Will faculty participate?
It is hard to imagine why a professor would not want to choose an issue, facilitate a discussion, and engage students and colleagues in an interdisciplinary approach to his or her chosen subject. Faculty members have the opportunity to apply theory to current events and learn how students respond to particular issues. A one-hour commitment over the course of academic year is not much to ask.
4. Will students participate?
Absolutely. There are students eager to meet with their peers and faculty from other disciplines. In many cases, students bring expertise to the subjects being discussed. Students recognize the relevance of the Times Talk program. The program also brings international students, graduate students, and undergraduates together in a vibrant setting.
5. Are incentives necessary?
Incentives certainly do not hurt the cause. Pizza and drinks and door prizes help. Speak to your New York Times Education Representative for more ideas.