In collaboration with a group of students who articulated a strong desire to be in conversation with their peers about major social and institutional topics, we’ve developed a new, institution-wide public forum. Lingua Franca’s goal is to provide students, staff, and faculty with a consistent, structured, and inclusive forum for exploring important social topics that impact life at Bates. Forum topics will be determined by polling the entire community.

Our goal is to retain ultimate flexibility with regard to our format for each Lingua Franca forum in order to foster effective conversations between peers. For instance, we imagine that some discussion topics will benefit from initial framing by a panel of experts in the field, and so we may host a short panel prior to breaking into small group discussions. In other circumstances, the forum may be best-suited to only small group discussion. We believe this kind of programming flexibility will allow us to best serve the community and ensure that Lingua Franca remains vital, intellectually stimulating, and a forum in which difference of opinion is nurtured, explored, and valued.


Join us for this spring’s three-part Lingua Franca series about the Affordable Care Act.

Part 1: What Is The Affordable Care Act?

Wednesday, March 8 | 7-8:30pm | Commons 221/222

Why do we have the kind of health care insurance that we do?  This session considers the ways congressional processes, federalism, federal budget making, labor law, and interest group politics shaped health care and, ultimately, the Affordable Care Act.  The way forward must grapple with not only the law as it stands but the history of health care policymaking in America.

Part 2: The Impact and Implications of the Affordable Care Act–Varied Views

Wednesday, March 15 | 7-8:30pm | Commons 221/222
The Affordable Care Act has fundamentally reshaped the relationship between private citizens and the state. And while all Americans have been affected by the law, its benefits and consequences are fundamentally disputed. We encourage all viewpoints to come and engage in a conversation about the ACA’s impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

Part 3: The Future of the Affordable Care Act

Wednesday, March 29 | 7-8:30pm | Commons 221/222

This final event in the Lingua Franca: ACA series will elevate varied opinions about the ACA’s future. Should it be repealed? Replaced? Left as it is with minor changes? There is little agreement–between and even within parties. Come hear policy experts from multiple perspectives speculate as to what the future of the ACA may look like. Come ready to discuss, ask questions, and listen a perspective different than your own!

This series is co-created and co-sponsored by the Bates College Republicans, Bates College Democrats, and the Bates Public Health Initiative.

Supported by the Office of Equity & Diversity and the Departments of Interdisciplinary Studies, Politics, and Sociology.