2012 CIS
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Background

The Critical Issues Symposium, first held in March of 1980, was established by Dr. Gordon Van Wylen, former president of Hope College. The symposium has become a modern tradition designed to stimulate serious thinking about current issues, and to provide a forum in which the Holland community, students, and faculty may all engage in discussion with experts. The mission of a liberal arts college such as Hope includes a commitment to provide information to its community of students and scholars, to promote social responsibility, and to encourage moral discourse. We hope the CIS contributes to that mission.

Each year President James Bultman appoints a CIS committee which, after consultation with students, faculty, and staff, selects the topic for the next symposium. During its planning, the committee is challenged to include appropriate breadth and depth in order to stimulate the interests of a diverse audience and facilitate maximum participation in the symposium. Past topics include: "The Middle East," "World Hunger," "The Family," "Energy," "Civil Rights," "The Quest for Justice: Christian Voices," "Lifeboat Earth: Decisions for Tomorrow," "The Columbus Legacy, 1492-1992," "Race and Social Change in America," "What Future is in our Genes: Freedom from Disease, Good Investment, Manufactured Humans?," "Sport and American Life," and "Feminism and Faith: Implications for Life," "Gold Rush and Ghost Towns: Living with the Internet," and "Earth Matters: Daily Decisions, Environmental Echoes."

A complete list of past topics, and links to web pages associated with them, can be found by visiting the Past Symposia link in the menu bar above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any cost to attend CIS?
There is no cost or registration necessary.

Who may attend CIS?
CIS is open to the entire community. Anyone with an interest in the topic being discussed is welcome to attend all or part of CIS.

How are CIS topics chosen?
Each year President James Bultman appoints a CIS committee which, after consultation with students, faculty, and staff, selects the topic for the next symposium. Ideas are solicited from the entire Hope community.

How can I get involved in CIS?
Students, staff, and faculty can get involved by serving on the CIS committee, and by actively participating in CIS sessions. Community members may also volunteer to help with CIS, which counts on volunteers for everything from airport shuttles to introducing speakers. If you are interested contact Associate Provost Alfredo Gonzales (gonzales@hope.edu).