Public Relations Students to Engage Community about Civil Discourse

Kent State public relations students are participating in a campaign and competition to educate their peers about civility this spring.

Their campaign, “To Unity and Beyond,” is part of the Public Relations Student Society of America’s Bateman Case Study Competition. College student participants across the nation are challenged to develop and implement a comprehensive campaign that engages students and professors in discussions about civility and how to combat incivility through students’ future careers.

The team, Bateman Gold, is made up of six public relations juniors and seniors: Brady Warmbein, Bridget Lin, Isabelle Stewart, Jessica Cobb, Zoe Blank and Gabriela Lewis.

To kick off their work, students are running a weeklong Instagram campaign the week of Feb. 21 through the account @listentolearnksu. Throughout the week, team members will post content that allows the community to hear from Kent State students, faculty, student organizations and other leaders about their thoughts on the current state of civility and how to improve it. Each day, Kent State community members will talk about their personal experiences with civility:

  • Monday Manners - How to listen to others with respect and purpose
  • Tuesday Tips - Make sure you are equipped with the right “tools”
  • Wednesday Wisdom - Let’s talks about uncomfortable situations
  • Thursday Thoughts - Hear from students, faculty and others about how we can progress together
  • Flash Forward Friday - Take a pledge to show your commitment towards being a civil ally

Students have also painted rocks with messages of unity and positivity and hidden them throughout campus. The small rocks are representations of the long-honored Kent State tradition of painting messages on the large rock present on campus. The focus of this initiative is to establish Kent State students as leaders for civility in the university community.

It follows a popular trend within communities: When someone finds a rock, it is hidden and re-distributed somewhere new by the next person to find it. Rocks will be hidden in residence halls, classrooms and the library to be found by Kent State students and hidden again. There are currently 30 rocks hidden throughout the campus, and students are also encouraged to paint their own rocks for distribution.

Bateman Gold is one of two Kent State teams of six public relations students who have the opportunity to encourage public relations and political science majors, professors and the Kent State community to become more active leaders for civility. To learn more about this project, visit or follow the Instagram page.

POSTED: Monday, February 22, 2021 12:06 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 02:12 PM