Making their mark: students present opinions in history debate

Two students debate over current events at the annual History Debates March 10. 
Photo by Sam Morstain

Two students debate over current events at the annual History Debates March 10. Photo by Sam Morstain

On Thursday, six students participated in this semester’s Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA) debates covering foreign policies.

The debates covered three controversial foreign policy issues – whether families should be able to negotiate with terrorist for the release of their relatives, whether Apple should cooperate with the FBI’s recent requests and whether America should accept Syrian refugees.

“We’ve done it for the past nine years now,” Raymond Huston, professor of history and political science, said. “It’s a way of bringing issues to our campus. Normally in the fall we do debates on domestic issues, and in the spring we do international issues.”

The debates are sponsored by Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society.

“We like to pick issues that are in the news currently,” Huston said. “We decide which side the students are on, so they can study both.”

Huston said that his students had incentive to attend the debate.

“I hope it’s a good time,” Huston said. “I normally give my Introduction to American Government class extra credit, but honestly they leave with a lot of knowledge. At the end we’ll do a question and answer, and they really get involved with it.”

Senior political science major Alexis Farrell participated in the debate.

“I’m going to law school next year so I thought this would be a good place for me to start,” Farrell said.

Farrell said participating in the debate is good practice for her future.

“It makes you research things before hand and be knowledgeable, and you have to get your thoughts and arguments together,” Farrell said. “It’s a lot of pressure to stand up in front of people, but it makes you firmer in what you believe to know the opposing argument.”

The next PSA debates will take place in the upcoming fall semester.

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