Christ College Hosting Annual Freshman Debates
Christ College students will debate subjects of international and national public interest—from the conduct of military operations against Al Qaeda to the monitoring of Internet sites by employers and universities—this April during the college’s 24th annual Freshman Debates. The series of four debates taking place April 6 to 15 will include a live webcast of an April 8 debate regarding whether or not detainees at Guantanamo Bay should be moved to a prison in Thomson, Ill.

Each debate will take place from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. in the Mueller Hall Refectory and is free and open to the public. Christ College freshmen will argue for and against the following propositions:

  • April 6 – “In order to subdue Al Qaeda, American forces should, when necessary, conduct military operations into Pakistan.”
  • April 8 – “Detainees at Guantanamo Bay should be moved to the maximum security facility in Thomson, Ill.”
  • April 13 – “Indiana should institute a public option health care plan.”
  • April 15 – “Employers and universities should be prohibited from monitoring or restricting the internet sites visited by their employees or students.”

The April 6, 13 and 15 debates also will be posted on Valpo’s YouTube channel ( following their conclusion.

The Freshman Debates are the culmination of the work of 80 first-year students in research, preparation and practice of the art of oral argumentation.

“The Christ College Debates enable freshman students to apply their emerging skills of academic research, critical analysis and oral argument to significant, controversial public issues,” says Dr. Mel Piehl, dean of Christ College. “Participants and audiences alike enjoy the verbal sparring and contest of wit and logic that takes place between the two debate teams, while also learning a great deal in the process.”

At the conclusion of each debate, audience members “vote their minds” by leaving the assembly through a door marked “pro” or through a door marked “con.”

Christ College is Valpo’s interdisciplinary honors college. Students are concurrently enrolled in the honors college and any of Valpo’s four other undergraduate colleges—Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing and Business Administration. Together, Christ College students and faculty create a community of learners who believe in honoring intellect, enlivening faith and engaging the world.