Senior Ermia is establishing meaningful connections with his classmates during EXPLO Collaborative Discussion Method debates. For Ermia, learning with, and from, people with different perspectives strengthens relationships begets leadership. 

We were talking about general polarization in my Political Science class.  Because I’m Canadian, I guess I managed to impress everyone else with my knowledge about the United States, even though I’m not really from there.  The next day we transitioned to the EXPLO Collaborative Discussion Method and I found that I was able to establish these meaningful connections with my classmates during our discussions.

I prefer people who have different view points than I do. I get to learn from them and they get to learn from me, so there’s this exchange of knowledge and information that happens and that can really strengthen relationships.

There’s a quote that I really like by Mark Twain. It goes: “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” History does rhyme — you have similar trends that are constantly popping up. It's incredible that you can take classic examples of history to create policy or ideas for the future. 

What makes the greatest leader? How can you bring the greatest amount of happiness and freedom for your people? Freedom and happiness are philosophical, but you have this overarching political theme as well. You have to have efficiency and you have to have benevolence. Being a leader isn’t a one-way road, it’s two ways. You have to learn from your people as they give you guidance and you then give them guidance in return.