This month’s ABQ focuses on the assumptions we make about others (image credit: Samantha Aguilar-Hernandez)

“When you understand others, you understand better yourself”. This is the idea that Ask Big Questions Campus Conversation Challenge (ABQ) is looking to have members of SNHU community engage in.

The ABQ Initiative represents an opportunity for the members of the Southern New Hampshire University community to see and hear each other deeply. This is done through conversations where members are guided to ask, instead of argue. With conversations, people share their stories instead of debating with each other. It is also where people listen and speak so others can understand and learn from one another instead of trying to convince, persuade and convert those who disagree with them.

The ABQ Campus Conversation Challenge is currently run by The AmericaCorps Vista from the Community Center for Engaged Learning’s (CCEL) Beth Anderson. An initiative such as ABQ is made possible on campus as a result of her and her team’s efforts.

Ryan Bailey, a second year student in the Degree in Three Accounting/Finance program and a member of SNHU’s ABQ Conversation Challenge Team said, “We live in a modern society where people are losing the ability to hold quality conversations, so the goal of the ABQ Initiative is to start conversation by asking questions that every single human being can answer, while still making them have to think.”

By having this type of Conversation Challenge at SNHU and across our country, SNHU is looking to connect members of its community with one another and discuss challenges that affect our world. With these conversations, the group can look for numerous ways to change it.

The Ask Big Questions Campus Challenge emphasizes the use of seven “Big Questions”. These questions are made so anyone can answer them and help guide conversations towards understanding and building connections with one another by expressing different points of view.

If members of the SNHU community go around campus, check social media or simply pass by the Center for Community Engaged Learning, they will notice the next big question from the ABQ challenge: “What do we assume?”

What is it that we assume when we meet someone? What is it that we assume when we are introduced to new things? How do other’s assumptions about someone impact their experiences or the idea they have of themselves? Are assumptions helpful or do they only cause harm?

These are the kind of questions to expect when engaging in this type of conversation. There are events each month to talk about the monthly big question and talk with others to see what they have to say.

This month, the ABQ session is on November 29 from 5 – 6 p.m. in Hospitality Salons A and B. Penmen Pride points will be awarded to attendees.

For more information about the Ask Big Questions Campus Conversation Challenge contact The Center for Community Engaged Learning at

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