Last year, the Mount’s annual Scholarship, Performance, Art, Research and Creativity (SPARC) Festival held its first ever student debate. This year, the debate will happen again, but will take a new direction under Professor Bill Prudden, Director of Student Engagement, Faculty Development, and Innovative Curriculum at the Mount’s Frederick campus.
Several changes have been made in terms of the preparation for this year’s debate. One of the ways the debate has changed is that it has grown. Instead of one large debate, there will be 3 smaller debates that will last between 20-25 minutes. Also, instead of asking for volunteers to participate in the debates, the debaters will be selected from Dr. Jordan Loveridge’s “Argument” class and put into six teams of three students each.
Another significant change is that, this year, the Mount community have the special opportunity to choose the three topics for the debates. Students and faculty are invited to first offer ideas, and then eventually select the three topics. The topics will be separated into three different categories. The first topic will be about an issue of very large scale – either global or national. The second will be either local or Mount related. The third will be about an issue that is generation specific, or of importance to students in particular.
These changes stem from the need for “increased student investment and involvement,” said Prudden. The goal of the improvements to the debate are that the students will be focused and enthusiastic about the topic and feel prepared to give a well thought out argument.
If you have a suggestion for possible debate topics, please email Professor Prudden at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will sort through the suggestions and separate them into categories and potential themes.
The Echo will be reporting on the progress of the debate topic selection in following issues.