Loyola University Public Debate

By: Taylor Caldwell


Photo: Taylor Caldwell

BALTIMORE – Loyola University’s Messina Program and Rhetoric Society co-hosted a public debate October 27, in McGuire Hall with a panel consisting of several accredited students and professors.

The event offered the opportunity for panelists to demonstrate debate skills and knowledge of controversial topics.  Professors Dr. Karsonya Whitehead and Dr. Michael Runnels sat beside students Emma Muir, Karl Dehmelt and Cole Davis on the panel, while the head of the Rhetoric Society Dr. Martin Camper moderated.

Topics ranged from free speech and safe spaces to racial profiling. Cole Davis kicked off the debate by answering the first question. Prevalent discussions such as this are often difficult for some viewers because the responses could contradict their own opinions.  Student, Amy Abdalla attended the event for her Messina class, and said, “I was uncomfortable with the excessive use of the n-word due to the population at the debate.  I understood the content in which Dr. Whitehead was using it, but I do still find it a controversial idea.”

Bailey Mathis, a student who was attending for her political science class further elaborated on the event saying, “I think debates are a great platform to discuss controversial topics, especially when they bring different opinions together.” Throughout the debate, the panelists remained confident in their answers and defended their opinions in a civil and respectful manner.  Audience member Katrina Geiger showed her appreciation for the event, “I think debates, such as this are so relevant to our generation especially with the current presidential campaign taking place,” said Geiger, “I think our generation lacks knowledge and an appreciation for how topics such as these impact their lives.”

Loyola alum and current correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, Mike Memoli, wrapped the night up by discussing his experiences with the current presidential campaign.  Following his comments, the event ended with an open platform for any questions from the audience.

Word Count: 313


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