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Civility and Community

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What does civility mean to you?



These videos say what civility means to us. We want to know what it means to you.

Read what civility means to members of the UT Knoxville community.

    • Anonymous
    Civility is not judging others based on their appearance or beliefs. Be open minded about any and everyone.

    Posted on June 22 at 3:37 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is being kind to people no matter who they are or what they believe and being able to respectfully disagree.

    Posted on June 22 at 12:10 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is keeping an open mind to new people and things without judgment.

    Posted on June 20 at 9:26 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is treating everyone with respect.

    Posted on June 20 at 8:24 PM

    • Olivia
    Civility means straying from what may be the most comfortable path for yourself in order to help someone else, even in the slightest way, regardless of your relationship with or opinion of that person.

    Posted on June 19 at 10:35 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is being respectful of other people's beliefs regardless of how you personally feel.

    Posted on June 18 at 2:18 PM

    • Becca
    Civility to others is making the conscious decision to speak and act in a way that reflects kindness. People should never hurt people.

    Posted on June 18 at 11:43 AM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is treating everyone with respect and embracing our differences.

    Posted on June 18 at 12:41 AM

    • Anonymous
    Civility to me means treating someone who looks like garbage with the same respect as you would a man with a Rolex, and giving both an equal amount of attention, time, and genuine care.

    Posted on June 17 at 9:59 PM

    • Dana
    To be civil means to accept everyone's differences and to respect he or she as you would like to be respected.

    Posted on June 17 at 6:18 PM

    • Emily
    To be civil is to treat others how you wish to be treated.

    Posted on June 17 at 1:51 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is treating every single person with the respect you would want them to have for you and your community.

    Posted on June 17 at 1:05 PM

    • Abby
    Civility is the action of treating everybody in our community with human respect while embracing and celebrating our differences. Civility is rooting out ignorant hate by learning about views and ways of life that are different from our own so that we may understand them rather than fear them.

    Posted on June 17 at 12:35 PM

    • Anonymous
    The word civility is derived from the word civil, which, according to Google's dictionary, can mean "of or relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns..." or "courteous and polite." Ordinary citizens. Civility groups all people together into one collective body, for we are all simply people, ordinary yet different in our own ways. Courteous and polite. It is the expectation to treat all others, people just as we are, with the same kindness and respect we treat those who are the same as us. Civility, then, means looking past all labels and tags to see the uniform humanity in every person. And it means that we must go above and beyond that, to treat those people - whether same or different - with equal respect, politeness, and kindness.

    Posted on June 17 at 11:59 AM

    • Brittney
    Civility to me means showing someone respect regardless of who they are or where they came from.

    Posted on June 16 at 10:36 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is being not only tolerant, but accepting of the differences in one's own community.

    Posted on June 15 at 6:51 PM

    • Jaylon
    Civility is a word derived from civil, and to be civil means to act in a polite, gentle, and formal manner. So, adding the the suffix -ity to being "civil" is to convey the act of being courteous as well as relating to who other people (i.e. "civil"ians) are , what they do, where they come from, and why they portray themselves in the manner that they do.

    Posted on June 15 at 2:45 AM

    • Anonymous
    Civility means having respect for a person no matter who they are or what background they are from.

    Posted on June 14 at 7:37 PM

    • Anonymous
    civility means accepting others for who they are

    Posted on June 14 at 2:05 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility means treating all of human kind in the same way you would wish to be treated in return.

    Posted on June 14 at 10:49 AM

    • Anonymous
    Civility means treating all people with the same respect, no matter what differences there may be between you.

    Posted on June 13 at 2:51 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility means showing respect for every individual despite any differences you may encounter.

    Posted on June 13 at 11:20 AM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is doing what is right for the greater good.

    Posted on May 31 at 9:54 AM

    • Anonymous
    Civility means treating others as you would treat yourself: equally and respectfully.

    Posted on May 30 at 7:45 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility means being respectful, understanding, and validating of another person's experience, especially if that experience comes from a historically repressed group- even if that experience is difficulty to understand.

    Posted on April 20 at 2:38 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is making everyone feel comfortable enough to want to wake up and have another awesome day at the University of Tennessee!

    Posted on February 11 at 5:17 PM

    • Nancy
    Civility means making no one feel like the "Elephant" in any room. All should be treated inclusively--No more outcast. One can not change the color of their skin. Civility means, "Genuine" respect for all.

    Posted on November 04 at 9:16 AM

    • Rachel
    The outcomes of consistent gracious actions with integrity!

    Posted on April 29 at 3:10 PM

    • Nick
    I (civilly) disagree with Anonymous who posted April 25 at 3:33 PM. Civility doesn't mean being so PC that we all become weak-minded cowards. It's quite the opposite. Civility means being intelligent enough to express your true beliefs without insult or disrespect. It doesn't mean accepting all you hear, but it does mean listening to what others have to say.

    Posted on April 27 at 3:06 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility means that everyone accepts everyone for who they already are. Nobody should ever feel the need to change who they are.

    Posted on April 27 at 1:58 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is being patient and polite to all, especially those you disagree with.

    Posted on April 26 at 6:15 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility means treating everyone with the same respect regardless of race or sex.

    Posted on April 26 at 10:36 AM

    • Anonymous
    Civility can mean that no one is brave enough to have convictions and stand for what they believe to be true. It can mean blurring the lines until there is no truth. It can be a fancy word for political correctness and a way to make cover and amends for anyone who has been justly or injustly offended. A university seems like a funny place to tell people to play nice and not rustle any feathers. Somehow I think previous generations would roll their eyes.

    Posted on April 25 at 3:33 PM

    • pilar
    What Civility means to me; Civility is when all works toguether for the benefit of all.

    Posted on April 25 at 2:22 PM

    • B Allen
    Having no need for guns on campus

    Posted on April 23 at 3:49 PM

    • Mohammed
    The underlying premise of civility is that humans are greater than animals. Everyone is in control of their words and actions and accountable for them. Civility is something no animal has -- they only respond in a predictable manner to stimuli. When that expectation self-control is taken away, and people allowed to blame bad behavior on drugs, impulses, religion, environment, peers, etc., then people become like animals and civilization itself breaks down.

    Posted on April 22 at 9:37 AM

    • Mohammed
    One way civility is measured is how men treat women. When women do not feel safe at night, certain places, etc., or in some countries have the need to cover up from head to toe for fear of rape and beating, there is not civility.

    Posted on April 22 at 9:22 AM

    • Paulson
    Civility means respecting people in a genuine and sincere way- not just the customary "you're fine", you're good" and the surface smile. It means greeting people we pass on the walkways and streets of campus rather than walking with our eyes fixed to the ground or the numbers above the elevator. It also means not engaging in idle gossip that separate people one from another or back-stabbing our peers as a means of coping with our own insecurities. It means disagreeing without being disagreeable and being willing to engage in dialectical reasoning without taking offense with those who do not share our views but can support those views with evidence. This is what civility means most to me as a member if the UT family.

    Posted on April 21 at 1:39 PM

    • Kyle
    Civility means ALL people - not just minorities. I have found many of my professors to think it is okay to mock conservative Christians while claiming to be tolerant to others. I think Civility means showing respect to ALL people.

    Posted on April 21 at 10:07 AM

    • Patsy Johnson
    Civility is an ancient concept and one that can be explained quite easily. The explanation crosses all religions, ethnicities, and values. It is simply, "Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you."

    Posted on April 20 at 11:07 AM

    • Summer
    It means being open minded and non-judgemental, able to disagree respectfully, and just trying to do the right thing.

    Posted on April 20 at 8:51 AM

    • Tyler
    It's as simple as respect: in order to demonstrate respect for others one must also respect himself.

    Posted on April 20 at 1:23 AM

    • Regina
    It's really as simple as the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Now what's so hard to understand about that?

    Posted on April 19 at 2:56 PM

    • Anonymous
    respect - for the person not being condescending nor using your position to "bully" others

    Posted on April 19 at 1:59 PM

    • Anonymous
    not judging someone by what your friends say. giving that person the chance before you form an opinion. not judging others for what they do. and being able to see all sides of an issue not saying that your view is ultimately correct and being able to discuss the issue with civility.

    Posted on April 19 at 12:59 PM

    • Anonymous
    Civility is when you can look back and be proud of your words and actions toward others.

    Posted on April 19 at 12:35 PM

    • Anonymous
    I hope that the call for civility is not an excuse for supressing dissent, different points of view, and the freedom to disagree. I hope that the free and sometimes contentious exchange of ideas does not become synonymous with the absense of civility. I hope that calls for civility are not a means to enforce censorship.

    Posted on April 19 at 11:42 AM

    • Keith McClelland
    Certainly caring and supporting in a general way. For university "support staff", including parking and UTPD, civility should include an understanding and realization that we have problems with parking on this campus. When I am expected to move a 25 lb. musical instrument across campus and receive a ticket 8 minutes after parking in a UT service vehicle space because there is no loading zone space available and the service vehicle spaces are going unused, I think civility is not being exercised.

    Posted on April 19 at 11:20 AM

    • Anonymous
    It means hiring a Chief Diversity Officer for UTK!!! It means teaching the importance of respect, responsibility and community.

    Posted on April 19 at 11:15 AM

    • Beth
    Giving people the benefit of the doubt when they are rude or grumpy. Let it go, assume they have troubles bigger than you, and smile at the next person anyway.

    Posted on April 19 at 10:52 AM

    • Anonymous
    Not judging by appearance.

    Posted on April 15 at 3:45 PM

    • Ann
    When I learned about the civility initiative at UT, I thought about this: On the Ag Campus and at Pendergrass Library and in the Veterinary Medical Center, we have a long standing custom of holding the heavy doors open for each other and greeting each other (good morning, hello, come on in), whether we are carrying something heavy or nothing at all. The daily help with the doors and daily greeting over time, without prompting, happens naturally. It seems to enhance the civility of other interactions we may have with each other.

    Posted on April 15 at 12:44 PM

    • Anonymous
    Not booing a sporting events.

    Posted on April 15 at 12:28 PM

    • Brian
    Disagreeing with respect; Agreeing to disagree; Ultimately finding agreement through compromise.

    Posted on April 15 at 12:27 PM

    • Anonymous

    Posted on April 15 at 11:02 AM

    • Brielle
    Genuine Smiles....

    Posted on April 15 at 10:48 AM

    • Brooke
    Civility means doing what is right, no matter how uncomfortable, hard or unpopular.

    Posted on April 15 at 10:47 AM

    • Anonymous
    Treating people you work with, or who work for you, as human beings. We may not all be equal in experience and/or education, but we all have feelings, knowledge from past experience, and positive attributes that can be brought to the workplace, if allowed.

    Posted on April 15 at 10:35 AM

    • Anonymous
    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Posted on April 15 at 10:28 AM

    • Anonymous
    It means that you treat everyone with equal respect, no matter what yours or their station is within life. It means that you take the needed time to listen and understand others before you speak in a disrespectful manner. It means you don't always get your way and you must concede when appropriate without foul treatment toward others. It means truthfulness. And much more....

    Posted on April 15 at 10:25 AM

    • Diva

    Posted on April 15 at 9:30 AM

    • Nick
    "Civility is hugs!"

    Posted on April 12 at 5:00 PM

    • Mike
    Thinking before you speak or act

    Posted on April 12 at 3:10 PM

    • Tiffani
    Being respectful when things don't go your way

    Posted on April 12 at 1:58 PM

    • Greg
    Not judging others

    Posted on April 12 at 1:30 PM

    • Anonymous
    Be thoughtful of others.

    Posted on April 11 at 1:51 PM

    • Anonymous
    Be respectful.

    Posted on April 11 at 1:43 PM

    • Anonymous
    Tell me more about where you are from.

    Posted on April 11 at 1:41 PM

    • Lilia
    Play Nice.

    Posted on April 11 at 12:57 PM


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