A New Style of Debate

After the often unprofessional debates from the most recent presidential election, one would think that the art of the debate is fading away from society. Several Whitewater students have challenged that notion by creating their own style of debates.

Every Wednesday night in Tutt Hall, a small group of students organize debate nights around less professional topics as a way to take some of the stress out of the school week. The debates are structured like a classic Oxford style debates, but with a comedic aspect similar to that of Comedy Central Roasts.

These debates are not seriouJ347 pics and often feature topics such as “Are Mermaids Real?” or the most recent one, “Does Atlantis Exist?” Two teams of students then create presentations and try to sway the crowd to their side.

Chase Lacas, one of the organizers, is greatly surprised at the amount of attention the debates have gathered. What started as a crowd of a few close friends, has turned into crowds of 30 – 40 people.

“I’m honestly amazed with the amount of people that show up on a weekly basis,” Lacas said. “We did this once as a joke, and people enjoyed it so much that everyone wanted it to be a regular thing.”

The first few debates took place in the dorm room of the debaters, but with the continued growth of the crowd, it had to be moved to the common areas in Tutt. There is even some talk about making the debates more public by advertising them around campus.

“We think it would be fun to make the debates a campus wide event,” said Lacas. “We aren’t too sure though. Making them too big may take away some of the fun and intimacy.”

Freshman Megan Talek is one of the few students who has been at every debate since the beginning. She does not think that the debate nights should become too popular.

“As nice as it would be to have large crowds, I think some of the comedy would disappear,” said Talek. “It’s more fun when everybody knows everybody because it makes the roast aspect easier and funnier.”

The comedic aspect of the debates is really what makes students want to come. It is a distraction from the stresses of school, and something fun for students to look forward to during the week.

One day, the debate nights may be a campus wide event being held in the UC. For now, all the students that attend the debates are content with it being small and personal, and consider it their own escape from stress.


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