Debate

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cuban Embargo Debate

In Idaho State University's first live streamed event gave anyone the opportunity to watch the competitors debate on the current Cuban embargo conditions.

With only minor technical difficulties there were many people viewing the debate online and also in attendance at Student Union Building on Idaho State's campus.

The audience was asked to vote in the beginning of the debate as undecided, agreeing or disagreeing. The debate had two teams each debating a certain position of the topic. One team argued in favor and the other in opposition.

Ultimately the side supporting the in support of the leaving the embargo in place won the debate with the majority of people agreeing in a final vote that the embargo should remain. The debate is a modified “public forum” style, featuring one pair of speakers on each side of the issue. Each side then takes turns building arguments and answering cross-examination by the opposition. A unique feature, the “Grand Cross Examination,” engages audience members in the questioning with the aid of a moderator.

"The embargo creates a significant impediment that the Castro Regime uses as a means to exploit its people and get with massive amounts of corruption," said Jack Bradley a debater in favor of the motion. "My partner and I made the argument that until the Embargo is lifted, the United States won’t be able to help Cuba transition out of a dictatorship, and towards more of a democracy. That would lead to more accountability and transparency in the Government, which would hopefully combat the sex trafficking epidemic that has faced Cuba for quite some time now."

This argument was ultimately the winning position for the debate. The opposition also gave excellent arguments against the case.

"The flow of money would mainly benefit large corporations and the Cuban government at the expense of the Cuban people because the current U.S. government shows no interest in developing humanitarian rights or environmental regulations," said Mike Chen who opposed the motion. "Our opponents said that the UN would do something about it, but the UN has had no influence over Cuba in the last 60 years of its membership."




The debate was moderated by Dr. Carmen Febles. Febles is a part of ISU's Global Studies department. This debate was an excellent way to engage the audience and also educate those in attendance both physically and online. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

ISU's Mike Chen Wins Online Debate Tournament.

ISU Bengal Debater Mike Chen has added another first place win to his impressive intercollegiate debate resume.  Chen argued in the final round to a 5-0 victory.

Members of the squad participated in the all-online "Climb the Mountain" debate tournament Saturday. Bengal debaters faced competitors from UW-Bothel, Montana, and Utah State. 

This was the first attempt at an online debate format. Each participant was joined by another debater and a judge in a video chat. With this advance it allows for more competitors from different locations to debate without additional travel. 

"The online tournament is definitely a very new form of conducting debate tournaments and, although it had a few bumps and turns, I'm really glad to have been able participate in it," says Chen. "I'm excited to see where it goes in the future."

In addition to Chen's 1st place win, he was awarded top speaker points by the tournament for the Open Division.  That honor was mirrored by ISU's Sydnee Harris who earned top-honors for speaking points in the Novice Division. Bengal debaters Jack Bradley and Michael Mares received honorable mentions in the speaking points category as well.

"I really enjoyed trying the IPDA debate style," says Harris. "It was a fun new experience debating it online and I was surprised when I found out that I had actually won a speaker award."

Today's tournament was an International Public Debate Association tournament. Unique to the IPDA style is the topic draw, where competitors each "strike" [eliminate] two potential topics from a list of five options until one remains to begin each head-to-head contest.

Congratulations to the Idaho State Squad.

Monday, February 6, 2017

ISU to Host Public Debate on Cuban Embargo



ISU’s Rupp Debate Team invites the general public, together with students, faculty, and staff, to attend its spring semester Public Debate, Thursday, February 9, at 6 p.m. The event will be held in the Pond Student Union Building Salmon River Suites, and refreshments will be served.

This event will also be streaming live. This is the idea occasion for a team meeting or fun night. A link to the livestream will be posted on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/idahostatedebate/ . 

Students will argue the topic: “Resolved, the United States should lift its embargo against Cuba.”

The debate is a modified “public forum” style, featuring one pair of speakers on each side of the issue. Each side then takes turns building arguments and answering cross-examination by the opposition. A unique feature, the “Grand Cross Examination,” engages audience members in the questioning with the aid of a moderator.

Audience members also get in on the action by voting before and after the debate on their opinion of the issue.

“Proponents of the embargo argue that Cuba has not met the conditions for lifting the embargo, including transitioning to democracy and improving human rights,” while opponents argue that it is a “failed policy … [and] a cold war relic,” according to procon.org.

Mike Chen, President of Pi Kappa Delta debate society at ISU said: “"This debate topic has come up time and time again. It's an ongoing issue that has really changed in the last few years with the renewal of the relationship between Cuba and the U.S. under President Obama. But now that there is a new president in office, it really makes us wonder what will happen with current Cuban relations and whether or not policies will change? This is definitely a topic worth discussing."

The issue was chosen in-part as a service to area high school students, demonstrating of one of their topics this term.  According to Chen, "We wanted to do this topic because it is important for all debaters to come together and talk about it whether they're from the high school circuit or the college circuit. Debate is about a competitive field that fosters educational discussion, and it is part of our goal to extend that to everyone in the community. The Cuban embargo is something we need to talk about as debaters and as members of this Democratic Republic."

The Rupp Debate team presents public debates each fall and spring. The fall debates both hosted over 100 participants.



ISU's Mike Chen Wins Online Debate Tournament.

ISU Bengal Debater Mike Chen has added another first place win to his impressive intercollegiate debate resume.  Chen argued in the final round to a 5-0 victory.

Members of the squad participated in the all-online "Climb the Mountain" debate tournament Saturday. Bengal debaters faced competitors from UW-Bothel, Montana, and Utah State.

In addition to Chen's 1st place win, he was awarded top speaker points by the tournament for the Open Division.  That honor was mirrored by ISU's Sydnee Harris who earned top-honors for speaking points in the Novice Division. Bengal debaters Jack Bradley and Michael Mares received honorable mentions in the speaking points category as well.

Today's tournament was an International Public Debate Association tournament. Unique to the IPDA style is the topic draw, where competitors each "strike" [eliminate] two potential topics from a list of five options until one remains to begin each head-to-head contest.

Congratulations to the Idaho State Squad.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rwandan Debate Team Visit Will Include a Debate, a Documentary Film, and a Photo Presentation

Debate Event - Rwandan and ISU Debaters: Forgiveness vs. Justice

WHEN: Monday, October 24, 2016, 6 – 8pm
      

WHERE: Rendezvous Suites ABC

COST:  Free

DETAILS:  
In 1994, over 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed by their neighbors. In 2003, over 80% of the perpetrators were released back into communities they once sought to destroy. In 2016, over 61% of the population is under the age of 24.

Come see ISU and Rwandan Debaters pair off in blended teams to debate the topic:
This House believes that in the aftermath of Genocide, forgiveness is more important than justice.

This event is free and open to the public.

Refreshments provided.



Documentary Film - Rwandan Debaters: Stories from a Post-Genocide Generation

WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 6 – 8pm

WHERE: BA 104

COST: Free

DETAILS:            
Rwanda is a post-genocidal society. More than 61% of the population is under the age of 24.

Join us as we view a 15 minute documentary and hear about the lives and culture of these
young students who will share stories from ordinary people who are living inspiring and impactful lives. The program is sponsored by the Rupp Debate Society.

Our guest, Professor, Raphael Chijioke Njoku, Chair of Global Studies at ISU will introduce the program and discuss the impact of the Rwandan genocide.

Reception to follow.




Photo Exhibition


WHEN: Monday, October 24, 8am – Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 5pm

WHERE: Frazier Hall - Second Floor

COST: Free

DETAILS:        
Powerful photographs will be on display exploring the theme of the post-genocide generation.



Rwandan Debate Team Biographies

Bruce Intwali Murangira, 21, is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Law at the University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK). He is a passionate debater and poet who believes in the power of the word, whether spoken or written, to impact meaningful change in society. Murangira is currently Head of Student Training at iDebate Rwanda.

Harmonie Isabane Muhumuliza, 19, is a recent graduate from Glory Secondary School in Kigali and is currently interested in pursuing her undergraduate degree in communications and international relations with the aim of becoming a journalist.

Angela Kagabo, 17, is currently a sophomore at Kigali International Community School and a member of the school debate team. Angela is interested in pursuing a career in law. She believes as a lawyer she will have the chance to be an agent of change and address many of the critical issues facing our world today.  

Sharon Kirezi Bayingana, 17, recently graduated from Wellspring Academy in Kigali. Sharon is a writer, blogger, and spoken word artist & performer. She is interested in pursuing her undergraduate degree in communications and public relations.


Bahizi Eric Habineza, 25, is a recent graduate from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Finance. He works and lives in Dallas, TX but is in the process of moving back home to Kigali. He aspires to be a Management Consultant in the near future and to pursue a master’s degree in Business Analytics.

Full House at Electoral College Public Debate & Upcoming Events

Sean Illing, Nate Mortimer, Nate Graves, Erik Ekstrom, Mike Chen (Left to Right)                                    
On the eve of the last presidential debate for the 2016 election, the Rupp Debate Society, Idaho State University, hosted a public debate discussing the best way to elect future presidents. Sean Illing, Ph.D. and a journalist from Vox.com served as guest moderator for the debate which lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. An audience of one hundred watched the debate, posed questions during the audience participation portion of the debate, and voted to determine the winning team.



Dr. Zac Gershberg introduces Dr. Illing
Sean Illing moderates the debate.

The topic was: This house would eliminate the Electoral College and replace it with a popular vote for the President of the United States." Supporting the topic Nate Graves and Nate Mortimer argued that a direct popular vote was the best way to represent the will of the people and to make every vote count.  They also said that only 20% of votes count now due to presidential candidates' tendency to focus campaigning on swing states. Graves and Mortimer indicted the electoral college by suggesting that is has two levels of tyranny, the tyranny of the majority within states and the tyranny on the minority in national elections.    

Nate Mortimer and Nate Graves

Erik Ekstrom and Mike Chen rejected the topic arguing that we should repair the Electoral College through a proportional representation  plan that would link electoral votes to Congressional districts. They argued that a direct popular vote would allow candidates to ignore large swaths of the United States and focus only on highly populated areas. Additionally, they argued that their plan would best ensure protection against the tyranny of the majority and demagogues by preserving the electoral college while increasing representation.  

Erik Ekstrom and Mike Chen
Each speaker gave one five minute speech and one three minute rebuttal.  There was a 15 minute question and answer period in the middle of the debate where speakers answered questions posed by the audience and the moderators.  

The debate was decided by an audience vote.  The audience was polled both before and after the debate. The team who changed the most opinions was declared the winner.  Before the debate, 48% of the audience supported replacing the Electoral College with a popular vote while only 21% did not.  31% of the audience was undecided.  

Audience Poll Results Prior to the Debate

After the debate, 68% of the audience supported the motion to eliminate the Electoral COllege while 25% rejected the motion and 7% remained undecided. 

Audience Poll Results After the Debate
Notably, both teams increased support for their positions.  However, the team in support of the motion increased their level of support by 20% compared to 4% on the opposition side.  Therefore, Mortimer and Graves were declared the winners.  However, Moderator Sean Illing explained that he was more persuaded by the team arguing against the motion and that the team defending the electoral college had a more difficult job in the debate.  Consequently, both teams have something to celebrate and we are very proud of their performance last night.    
Opinion Shift Before and After the Debate
Next week, the Rupp Debate Society will be hosting the Rwandan debate team for three events. All events are free and open to the public. 
  • A photo exhibit in Fazier Hall (2nd Floor) Monday and Tuesday. 
  • A blended ISU/Rwandan Debate on Monday, October 24, at 6:00 pm in Rendezvous ABC on the question of forgiveness vs. justice in the wake of genocide.
  • A 15 minute documentary film and Rwandan student presentations Stories from a Post-Genocidal Generation in Business 104 on Tuesday, October 25, at 6 pm.

In 1994, over one million Rwandans were killed in a conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes, leaving behind young people that now make up the majority of the population in the country. In 2003, over 80 percent of the killers were released back into the communities they once sought to destroy. The iDebate team from Rwanda will share their own stories and experiences of what its like to live in a post-genocide generation, and how they strive to live inspiring and impactful lives.

The first event will feature the ISU debate team and Rwandans debating in conjunction on the topic, “This house believes that in the aftermath of genocide, forgiveness is more important than justice.” The debate will take place on Oct. 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Rendezvous Suites ABC.

“I think this event will be the first spark for people to start working together,” said ISU debater Cora Bidete. “It will allow us to see that there are cultural differences between us but regardless of that, there is a need for us to interact in a way that is positive and doesn’t insight an us versus them mentality.”

The next event titled, “Stories From a Post-Genocidal Generation,” will take place on Oct. 25 at 6 p.m. in the Business Administration building room 104. Raphael Njoku, Chair and professor in the Department of Global Studies and Languages, will introduce the topic and give a brief presentation, followed by a documentary about the Rwandan students’ lives and a question and answer session.

“This will be such a humbling experience to debate with these students,” said ISU debater Cameo Curnutt. “The more that we immerse ourselves in these different cultures the more that we can get rid of the ignorance and intolerance that we have seen here.

The photo exhibit will portray the genocide of 1994 and will be on display on the second floor of Frazier Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Oct. 24 and 25.


Please join us for these events or contact partsara@isu.edu with questions.  


















Monday, October 17, 2016

Rwandan & ISU Debaters Tackle Forgiveness vs. Justice

Rwandan and ISU Debaters: Forgiveness vs. Justice
WHENMonday, October 24, 2016, 6 – 8pm
WHERERendezvous Suites ABC
EVENT TYPEAcademics, Campus Events, Diversity & Culture, Student Activities, Student Union
AUDIENCEAlumni, Current Students, Faculty, Future Students, Staff
COSTFree
DETAILS
In 1994, over 1,000,000 Rwandans were killed by their neighbors. In 2003, over 80% of the 
perpetrators were released back into communities they once sought to destroy. In 2016, 
over 61% of the population is under the age of 24.

Come see ISU and Rwandan Debaters pair off in blended teams to debate the topic: 
This House believes that in the aftermath of Genocide, forgiveness is more important than justice.

This event is free and open to the public. 
Refreshments provided.


Rwandan Debaters Tell Stories From A Post-Genocidal Generation at Idaho State University

WHENTuesday, October 25, 2016, 6 – 8pm
WHEREBA 104
EVENT TYPEAcademics, Art, Campus Events, Diversity & Culture, Student Activities
AUDIENCEAlumni, Current Students, Faculty, Future Students, Staff, Other
COSTFree
DETAILS
Rwanda is a post-genocidal society. More than 61% of the population is under the age of 24. 
Join us as we view a 15 minute documentary and hear about the lives and culture of these 
young students who will share stories from ordinary people who are living inspiring and 
impactful lives. The program is sponsored by the Rupp Debate Society. 

Our guest, Professor, Raphael Chijioke Njoku, Chair of Global Studies at ISU will introduce the 
program and discuss the impact of the Rwandan genocide.
Reception to follow.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Debate Team Finishes in Semi Finals at Lewis and Clark Debate Tournament

Idaho State Debaters on the Lewis and Clark Trip, 2016
           On the weekend of October 8, 2016, Idaho State University debaters ended up as semi-finalists in a competition at Lewis and Clark College in British Parliamentary debate. Competing against schools such as Gonzaga and Seattle University, Bengal freshmen Nick Grunig and Nate Mortimer established their place at the podium with some of the best teams in the country.
Nick Grunig and Nate Mortimer
Their second time competing in the parliamentary format, Grunig and Mortimer broke into the semi-finals as the no. 6 seed after scoring an impressive 924 speaker points over the course of 6 preliminary rounds. The duo finished with a solid top 5 showing.
Nick Grunig
“I had no idea we were going to do as well as we did,” said Mortimer. “I knew Nick and I were going to do the best we could, but I had no idea. Especially against the competition, the competition was amazing.”
Mortimer led the ISU squad in the individual rankings with a 464 point performance that earned him the honor of being named as the 6th best speaker overall. Grunig’s performance backed up his teammate with an individual score of 460 points. A performance that placed him 16th out of 56 total competitors from the 28 teams in competition. 
Nate Mortimer
While the former Highland debaters were excelling in the open division, ISU’s Jonah Ruhter and Tristin Herrup-Wheeler accumulated a combined score of 879 points in the novice division, which resulted in a tie for the 8th spot. Although Ruhter and Herrup-Wheeler crafted a strong and consistent performance, they unfortunately missed the cut by just one spot. On the individual level, Herrup Wheeler placed 10th overall in speaker points by scoring 440 points, while Ruhter finished 2 spots behind his teammate with a score of 439. Cora Bidet and Mike Chen also represented ISU in the Senior Division.
Coming up next for the Bengals will be an exhibition style public debate which will debate whether or not we should continue to use the Electoral College to elect the President of the United States. The debate will be moderated by Sean Illing of vox.com.  It will be held in the middle fork of the Salmon River Suites in the SUB on October 18th at 5:30 pm.  If you have any questions, please contact partsara@isu.edu.



Topics Debated at Lewis and Clark

  • THBT citizen-initiated referendum are harmful to the democratic process
  • THBT US should abolish mandatory minimum sentencing. 
  •  THBT the United States should make continued aid to Israel dependent upon a 2-state solution including a shared capital in Jerusalem.
  •  Resolved, The United States should abolish the electoral college.
  •  The international criminal court should indict Bashir al-Assad for war crimes
  •  TH should repeal the 2nd Amendment.


Open Division-28 Teams
Nick and Nate: Total Speaker Points-924, finished tied for 6th overall out of the 28 teams present.
1.       Round 1: 151 points, P2
2.       Round 2: 154 points, P2
3.       Round 3: 155 points, P3
4.       Round 4: 147 points, P4
5.       Round 5: 162 points, P1
6.       Round 6: 155 points, P3
Cora and Mike: Total Speaker Points-886, finished 24th overall out of the 28 teams present.
1.       Round 1: 143 points, p4
2.       Round 2: 151 points, P2
3.       Round 3: 146 points, P4
4.       Round 4: 155 points, P2
5.       Round 5: 147 points, P4
6.       Round 6: 144 points, P4
Novice Division- 16 Teams
Jonah and Tristan: Total Speaker Points-879, finished 9th overall out of 16 teams present.
1.       Round 1: 144 points, P2
2.       Round 2: 143 points, P4
3.       Round 3: 144 points, P4
4.       Round 4: 150 points, P2
5.       Round 5: 149 points, P3
6.       Round 6: 149 points, P2



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sean Illing to Moderate Public Debate at Idaho State University

Join us on the 17th and 18th of October.  On the 17th, Sean Illing of vox.com presents "Is Too Much Democracy a Bad Thing?"  On the 18th, Illing will moderate a public debate hosted by the Idaho State Debate team.