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Third annual Great Debate hosted in the GSC Theater

By David Maxwell
On February 6, 2013

Xavier University hosted the third annual Great Debate on Friday, Feb. 1, in the Gallagher Student Center Theater.
This year's debate featured student competitors from Xavier, Miami University and University of Dayton. Three students from each school competed and Xavier placed second in the event for the third straight year, only 7.5
points behind Dayton. Xavier's debaters included sophomore Chuma Nnawulezi, junior Lauren White and Mark Talbot. According to information provided by the Offi ce of Multicultural Affairs, "the Great Debate is an intellectual and cultural forum debating current 'hot topic' issues and social problems from the contemporary perspectives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and a synthesis of the two perspectives." The topic selected this year was "The New Middle Class: America's Working
Poor or Arrested Development?" Xavier took the position of Dr. King, Miami debated from the perspective of Malcom X
and Dayton selected the synthesis position. The debate featured opening argument, rebuttal and closing argument segments, which were interposed by cultural vignettes.
These vignettes included singing, poetry reading and other dramatic performances from students of the competing universities. Senior Kristen Rodgers of Xavier recited
poetry and the Xavier Gospel Choir also performed. Judges scored the debate based on procedure, content, organization, delivery and timekeeping. The Great Debate is the brainchild of Dr. Amiri Al-Hadid and was started
in Nashville, Tenn., in 1985. The debate, per the vision of Dr. Al-Hadid, attempts to create a forum for young people to investigate current social and cultural issues through the lens of Dr. King and Malcom X. While these perspectives
have traditionally been viewed as confl icting, Al-Hadid believed that at their core, they were of similar beliefs
and that an open dialogue comparing these perspectives would be benefi cial.

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