Debating Politics

By UM News

Debating Politics

By UM News
The UM Debate Team held its last Bryan’s Café of the semester with spirited conversation around politics, ISIS, and the presidential election.

The third floor of the Shalala Student Center Tuesday night was transformed into debate central as 20 students participated in the University of Miami Debate Team’s final Bryan’s Café discussion of the semester.

The theme of the night was “Election 2016: Debating the Issues.” The round-table style setup encouraged debaters and non-debaters alike to share their opinions and respond openly to others.

“This is a place where you can freely express your political views on the candidates and the issues,” said senior Renee Reneau, UM Debate Team member and the night’s moderator. “You can play devil’s advocate too. Challenge each other to defend different opinions.”

The conversation began with a discussion of how the media sets agendas and how candidates reach millennial voters. Participants voiced a variety of opinions, including surprise at certain candidates’ persistent skepticism of climate change.

Soon after, the conversation turned to the defunding of Planned Parenthood. “I want a candidate that views woman’s rights as an important issue,” said one freshman participant. “The news doesn’t tell us anything beyond which of the candidates wanted to defund Planned Parenthood or not. This is an important issue for me and I want to see more about it.”

After further discussions about women’s rights, the economy, and raising the minimum wage, the conversation took on a more somber tone as participants spoke about the fight against the Islamic State.

“The reason we are so fixated on the Paris attacks is not because we don’t care about people dying in Mali or around the Middle East,” said senior debater Barbara Puodzius. “It’s because Paris, France, was perceived as a really secure Western nation, but now people feel like if Paris isn’t safe, nowhere is.”

Many people agreed.

“It’s still important to unify everyone, regardless of race or nationality,” senior debater Michael Fuentes added. “It’s important that we fight against ISIS together.”

The night concluded with a brief discussion about why students vote. “Florida is a swing state,” explained freshman debater Courtney Kloepper. “I’m from Kansas but I’m going to vote here, because I know my vote matters in a swing state.”

The Florida Presidential Primary will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

The third floor of the Shalala Student Center Tuesday night was transformed into debate central as 20 students participated in the University of Miami Debate Team’s final Bryan’s Café discussion of the semester.

The theme of the night was “Election 2016: Debating the Issues.” The round-table style setup encouraged debaters and non-debaters alike to share their opinions and respond openly to others.

“This is a place where you can freely express your political views on the candidates and the issues,” said senior Renee Reneau, UM Debate Team member and the night’s moderator. “You can play devil’s advocate too. Challenge each other to defend different opinions.”

The conversation began with a discussion of how the media sets agendas and how candidates reach millennial voters. Participants voiced a variety of opinions, including surprise at certain candidates’ persistent skepticism of climate change.

Soon after, the conversation turned to the defunding of Planned Parenthood. “I want a candidate that views woman’s rights as an important issue,” said one freshman participant. “The news doesn’t tell us anything beyond which of the candidates wanted to defund Planned Parenthood or not. This is an important issue for me and I want to see more about it.”

After further discussions about women’s rights, the economy, and raising the minimum wage, the conversation took on a more somber tone as participants spoke about the fight against the Islamic State.

“The reason we are so fixated on the Paris attacks is not because we don’t care about people dying in Mali or around the Middle East,” said senior debater Barbara Puodzius. “It’s because Paris, France, was perceived as a really secure Western nation, but now people feel like if Paris isn’t safe, nowhere is.”

Many people agreed.

“It’s still important to unify everyone, regardless of race or nationality,” senior debater Michael Fuentes added. “It’s important that we fight against ISIS together.”

The night concluded with a brief discussion about why students vote. “Florida is a swing state,” explained freshman debater Courtney Kloepper. “I’m from Kansas but I’m going to vote here, because I know my vote matters in a swing state.”

The Florida Presidential Primary will be held on Tuesday, March 15, 2016.