Christ College, the interdisciplinary honors college of Valparaiso University, plays host to the 26th annual Freshman Debates beginning Tuesday, March 27.

These annual presentations are free and open to the public. Each session is from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. at the Mueller Hall Refectory.

“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,” Chris College Dean Mel Piehl said. “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, the moderator instructs audience members to “vote their minds” after hearing the arguments by leaving the hall through a door marked “PRO” or through a door marked “CON.”

The debate schedule is as follows:

* Debate One: Tuesday, March 27 — Resolve: The United States should end the Afghan war through direct political negotiations with the Taliban.

* Debate Two: Thursday, March 29 — Resolve: The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United (regarding Super PAC election donations) should be reversed.

* Debate Three: Tuesday, April 10 — Resolve: The legal age of alcohol consumption in the state of Indiana should be 18 years of age.

* Debate Four: Thursday, April 12 — Resolve: The state of Indiana should legally prohibit all cell phone use while driving.

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.

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