I wanted a program that would bridge the gap between undergraduate, graduate, and professors. So, the Speaker Series at SOUL was born. I envisioned a speaker (either graduate student, undergraduate student, or professor) coming to the garden to talk about a topic that they are passionate about or advocate for. After, the audience is allowed to proceed with a scholarly discussion relating to the speech. The speaker at this point would not talk as much, only to inputting their knowledge where they see fit or to provide discussion questions.
This speaker series has two major goals: Community building and building relationships between undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors. The first goal is achieved through the discussion that happens after. Presumably, the audience would consist of mostly NC State students. The discussion would be a safe environment where any argumentation would be constructive. Therefore, the audience builds a bond through an understand of each other and themselves through conversation and exchanges.
The second goal is achieved by inviting a variety of speakers to the event. Allowing the audience to be on the same level as the speaker (both metaphorically and physically) is powerful and shows the speaker is simply another human being. I know as an undergraduate student I often shy away from conversation with professors or graduate students due their status as higher than my own.