Why prepare a presentation?
The Univ Forum is a forum for dialogue about key issues affecting the person and today’s society. It is a meeting place for communication and academic debate. Created in 1968, the Forum is currently enjoying its fifth decade of service to university students. The Forum’s goal is to help students see their University years as not only a time for intellectual training but also a time for developing a personal commitment to the improvement of society. One way students may participate in the UNIV Forum is by writing a group paper about the year’s topic, under the guidance of a university professor. These papers are presented orally before an international audience that meets yearly during Holy Week in Rome.
Research, reflection, dialogue, debate—these activities belong to the core of university life. Besides providing technical and specialized training in various fields, the university also has the essential tasks of ensuring that its students develop strong and rigorous intellectual habits and that they face the big questions about life, society, science, religion, etc. The truth—the goal of every science and intellectual endeavor—cannot be reduced to technical know-how, nor can it exclude any dimension of the human person. Yet it has become increasingly difficult for students to achieve this more general and fundamental kind of learning—which in some countries is called a “liberal education”—during their university years. This may be because of a lack of time, overcrowding and weak student-teacher relationships, hyper-specialization, or even because it is thought nowadays that it is no longer possible to find answers to the big questions. The UNIV Forum is different from scientific conferences because it seeks above all to be a place of encounter and inter-cultural exchange for university students from the five continents.
The papers delivered at the UNIV Forum provide an excellent opportunity for both students and professors to reach the more fundamental goal of the university as an institution, because in presenting a paper students:
● Choose a topic that merits study because of its importance or timeliness.
● Spend time reading, studying, and investigating issues that do not ordinarily appear in university examinations.
● Have the opportunity to dialogue with other students and professors in an atmosphere of trust and intellectual rigor.
● Improve the ability to analyze, reason, and debate through writing.
● Develop the ability to communicate ideas in an accessible and attractive way.
● Become more familiar with the formal aspects of serious academic work.
● Develop a deeper appreciation for rhetoric: the art of saying things convincingly and well—being able to persuade, appeal to good humor, or elicit an emotion.
● Improve public speaking skills.
● Meet and dialogue with students from other countries and cultures.
● Learn how to better develop arguments and respond to criticism of those arguments.
These benefits belong to the best traditions of the university. This website offers instructions, tips and resources to help you take full advantage of the opportunity to prepare and present a paper.