SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM)– Social media has made it easier than ever to share opinions or get into online debates. 

However, West Virginia government officials gathered at Shepherd University to focus on the importance of political civility in today’s culture. 

“Joe Manchin and I work well together and I think we could be a good example for the rest of the country that when you disagree, you do it respectfully,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito. “You respect the person, you don’t consider them evil or stupid or anything like that and then you move on to find common ground.” 

According to Merriam Webster, political civility is defined as civilized conduct or politeness in politics, which is something Capito believes the United States has lost recently. Shepherd University rededicated their Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for students to gain the experience and wisdom to possibly change the future of politics. 

“Can we as an institute make a difference, we all need to be working in the right direction and that right direction would be to have a higher regard for the fellow man or a higher regard for the folks that we work with on a daily basis,” said Bill Stubblefield. 

Without the education, Director David Welch said that the future of politics could be disastrous. 

“Start at the undergraduate level and get them to think that there really is a certain American ethic about reaching compromise solutions to our problems and if we don’t do that, we’re going to rip each other apart,” said Welch. 

For students majoring in political science at Shepherd, a concentration in political communications will also be offered.