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Debate Society Sparks Conversation With Second Public Forum

Feeling neglected with your undergraduate education as a Penn State student? The Penn State Debate Society is posing this question to community members, students and faculty at this year’s public debate for students to consider how they think the university balances the needs of its alumni and current students.

“Debate spurs conversation but it can’t end there,” said Penn State Debate Society president, Matt Wolfson. “People need to become engaged and concerned to create change. Our main goal is to get people talking so that they can be the change they want to see. Ultimately, it’s the students’ tuition money. What is the university doing with it?”

Triggered in-part by student outcry over the new student seating in Beaver Stadium for the 2011 football season—shifting the traditional location of the student section—members of the Debate Society decided to hold this year’s debate on an issue raising controversy between two competing groups; alumni and students.

The public debate will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 7:00 p.m. in 10 Sparks Building. Everyone is encouraged to attend and actively participate in the discussion.

Last spring semester, the Debate Society hosted their first forum in front a standing-room only crowd on whether the drinking age impacts the binge drinking culture at Penn State. Pittsburg and Clarion are expected to the Spring 2011 forum and challenge the Debate Society to a show of wits and persuasive conversation.

The Debate Society recently celebrated its first anniversary after efforts to change their status from policy debate to parliamentary-style debate were successful. The switch allows team members to capitalize on discussion versus a barrage of facts as seen in many policy debates.

“We wanted to bring back traditional debate to Penn State. It is our goal to get people thinking, learning and becoming interested in things that matter,” said Wolfson.

The Debate Society promises to promote conversation and encourage public discussion for the betterment of community and education.

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