It's back to school season! So naturally, this month we'll discuss whether or not higher education is worth it. As of April 2017, college student loan debt in the United States stands at $1.4 TRILLION, which is more than Americans owe on their credit cards and cars. Do high tuition costs create a socioeconomic disparity for recent graduates entering the workforce? What does it mean for college to be "worth it" - job placement, first-year salary, specialized industry knowledge? We hope to see you there to answer these questions and more!
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PREVIOUS: It is not possible for the United States to successfully integrate or assimilate Islamic culture.
Our winning debaters this month were Kate Gerasimova and Nasser Mohammed, arguing in favor of the motion. Arguments detailed the fractured history of Islam and the socioeconomic oppression of Muslims, which leads to radicalization and presents irreparable barriers toward successful integration.
Danielle Solinski and Jabber Al-Bihani were this month's debaters arguing against the motion. Points of contention included legal arguments stating it is perfectly acceptable under American law to accept immigrants into the country, as well as compelling narratives highlighting the struggles one overcame to successfully assimilate into American society.
Debaters Mike Walsh and Lee Moore were this month’s winners arguing in favor of the motion. In highlighting the common characteristics of all religion, they argued that religion has historically been, and continues to be, the source of oppression and hindrance to societal progress. They highlighted the importance of "free thinking" backed by science, sound evidence and rationality.
Debaters Alex Grass and Iain Coston argued against the motion by positing that "atheism" was a vehicle used by past tyrants and dictators to carry on their malevolent objectives. They also cited historical instances where "atheism" was the justifiable basis for unprecedented human atrocities. Further, they argued that some of the social progress was enabled and pioneered by people of faith-based institutions.
Both sides also argued their respective positions as to why "Religion" or lack thereof, is the proper mode of achieving moral, wholesome and fulfilling life.
Debaters Chuck Braman and Rob were this month’s winners arguing against the Motion. Citing instances of governmental institutional failures, Chuck and Rob advocated in favor of a market-based approach for access or delivery of the healthcare system. Further, they supported their contention by citing examples of how a robust competition in a truly “open market” fosters efficient and high quality, healthcare, while reducing the burdens from unnecessary waste and bureaucracy.
Arguing in favor of the Motion were Ryan Daulton and Luchi Mmegwa. They first cited a three-prong analysis to justify when government has a proper role in providing healthcare — the three prongs include: 1) examining whether a market failure exists; 2) evaluating the societal cost from the market failures; and 3) assessing the benefits of making the corrections from a market failure. They cited examples of how “information asymmetry” can lead to consumers in the healthcare market making less-informed decisions. They also cited examples of the absurdities of the high out-of-pocket costs and the exorbitant cost of healthcare in the U.S.
Katherine Horton and Christine Clark were this month’s live debate winners, arguing against the Motion. They took a position that “political correctness” is an integral part of a complex, modern society. They enunciated that in order to respect other’s cultures and individual dignity, we should appreciate certain cultural nuances, rather than falling into the traps of “stereotypes.” Additionally, they argued that a society must learn from the past historical mistakes, in order to not repeat those mistakes.
On the other hand, Mike Walsh and John Kirbow, argued that “political correctness” has stifled and hindered our ability to think critically and independently. in making that argument, they pointed to examples of how being critical of certain cultural norms and institutions have been mislabeled and misconstrued as “intolerance.” They also cited unhinged and perilous examples of how quickly and rapidly the “societal norms” can evolve, which may have unintended consequences in a long run.
Thomas Kim and Alex Grass were this month's live debate winners, arguing against the motion. While admitting that stop and frisk is not a perfect solution, they showcased its proven ability to reduce crime through compelling statistics and historical analysis.
Yousef Zakaria and Udit Gami, arguing for the motion, cited landmark cases and data that expose stop and frisk's propensity to abuse power and target racial minority groups. They proposed an alternative solution to asses individual threats based on information already aggregated online.
Debaters Chuck Braman and Rob Guzman were this month's winners arguing against the motion. Citing a failing public education system paid for by coercion and tax dollars, Chuck and Rob advocated the idea that parents should have full autonomy in choosing how their children receive education.
Arguing for the motion were Ariela Silberstein and Lenny Herrera, who believe that while systems of education in western liberal democracies are flawed, they are necessary. Without government regulation and funding, there would be no metric to determine the success and applicability of a child's education.
Debaters Avi Gurland-Blaker and Lenny Herrera earned this Motion's victory arguing for the pro side. Their points of contention included anti-democratic misuses of open source information, its paradoxical effect on an increasingly reclusive yet globally connected user base, and necessary regulation specifically targeting egregious misinformation used as fact.
Arguing for the con side were debaters Mike Walsh and Thomas Kim, who believe access to open source is a human right for us to spread liberal values and expose corruption. They discussed oppression in countries that enforce censorship, and hyperbole over perceived danger posed by open source platforms.