Take It On

Take it On

Take It On is Xavier’s non-partisan, values-centered initiative to proactively promote better civic discourse and robust, peaceful engagement in politics. Political division and polarization has become more intense both on a national level and in our local communities. We often avoid and demonize those who disagree with us.

At Xavier, we believe that we can and must do better. As leaders in Ignatian Civic Engagement, we seek out difference with the aim of listening, respecting and being open to learning from each other. We explore common ground when discussing controversial topics so that our students may learn to engage in difficult dialogue with others in a civil, productive manner. We promote civic engagement that balances political engagement, academics, and well-being.

The challenge is great. The time is now. We're ready to Take It On.

The Value of Difficult Conversations

The Value of Difficult Conversations

At Xavier, we embrace difficult conversations and intellectual discomfort. It’s through challenging conversations that we learn to better understand our own positions and engage with those who hold different views. The following resources can help students, faculty and staff to have these conversations.

Take It On LibGuide (library research guide)
Take It On Dialogue Facilitation Guide
Tools for a Healthy Conversation (postcard available upon request)
The Xavier Way for Dialogue
Make a Plan to Vote

Make a Plan to Vote

Take It On encourages all members of the Xavier community to get involved with upcoming elections. In 2021, the election cycle included a local primary on May 4 and includes the general election on Nov. 2. In the City of Cincinnati, this cycle includes elections for Mayor and City Council as well as ballot initiatives.

Information on how to register and where to vote
Work the polls on Election Day
Election Day Classroom and Campus Resources
Get Involved

Get Involved

In support of Xavier’s Mission, Take It On prepares students to cultivate lives of reflection, compassion and informed action. The Society of Jesus calls us to this work in Contemplation and Political Action: An Ignatian Guide to Civic Engagement. In the words of the Universal Apostolic Preferences, Take It On serves to “accompany young people in the creation of a hope-filled future.”

Learn about upcoming events
Learn about the Constitution Day Colloquium
Learn more about the Take It On Plan for 2024

Good Dialogue Matters

At Xavier University, we are preparing the next generation of civic leaders. Our Ignatian heritage and our liberal arts tradition call us to challenge students to wrestle with difficult ideas and assist them in developing their own approaches to engagement.

Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D.

President, Xavier University

My father always told me 'You don't know what you don't know.' This seems obvious until you are engaging in conversations with opinions that you've never heard or considered before. It's those challenging conversations about politics that make you realize how little we know about this world and how much we could learn by listening to others.

MaKayla Conners

SGA VP and Class of 2022

Good dialogue is hard, but worth it to create deeper relationships and examine timeless (and timely) contentious issues.

Rachel Chrastil, Ph.D.

Professor of History

Our Values

Name the problem: We are concerned about the divisive and polarizing political and societal challenges that we face. 

Leverage our Jesuit Catholic heritage: We draw on the gifts and values of our Jesuit Catholic heritage, including the dignity of the human person and value of the liberal arts education.  

Embrace discomfort: We embrace intellectual discomfort, difficult conversations and the benefits of working through them to better understand our own positions and to engage with those who hold different views. We accept responsibility for our role in a conversation and share the burden as we mutually seek better understanding. 

Build on our resources: We draw on and expand the resources of our faculty, staff, administrators, students, University policies and community partners. 

Act with humility and courage: We know we will make mistakes but are convinced that we must speak and act on our convictions while listening to, showing respect for and being open to learning from others. We recognize the contexts and experiences that shape the dynamics of dialogue. 

Keep our community at the center: Our students and their intellectual development and overall well-being are at the center of this project; in order to support and educate our students, faculty and staff need to be fully invested as well. This project seeks to build relationships and repair breaches in our community, mindful of those who feel they are on the outside.  

Presidential Primaries Experience

Student Travels to Presidential Primaries

In January 2020, Xavier University students from the Philosophy, Politics and the Public Program, Political Science, and Pi Sigma Alpha travelled to New Hampshire to explore the “first-in-nation” primary.


Cincinnati Mayor and City Council

Cincinnati Mayor and City Council

Take It On interviewed all six candidates for mayor in Spring 2021 prior to the mayoral primary. In September, Xavier hosted the mayoral debate between David Mann and Aftab Pureval.


Restorative Justice Conversations

Restorative Justice Conversations

PPP junior Christo Fosse hosted two restorative justice circles in Fall 2020, one before the election and one afterwards.