02-19-14-debates.gifFayetteville State University will host the 4th Annual Frederick Douglass Debates on Monday, Feb. 24 at 11 a.m. in Seabrook Auditorium on the campus of Fayetteville State University. The university will debate Hampton University.

“It is a public debate series that started four years ago at FSU,” said William Thomas, lecturer and director of debate at Fayetteville State University. “We invited another debate team from another university to come in and debate on three issues of social significance to tie in partially to Black History Month and issues that Frederick Douglass may have been interested in.”

Thomas added that they wanted to bring two historically black colleges and universities together for the debate.

The significant topics debated include the stand-your-ground law, prayer/religion in school and other public areas and the Affordable Healthcare Act. Stand your ground is a type of defense law that gives individuals the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without any requirement to evade or retreat from a dangerous situation.

Prayer and religion in school entails that in the United States, school prayer is proscribed in accordance with the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which provides the foundation for the separation of church and state.

The Affordable Health Care Act puts consumers back in charge of their healthcare. Under the new law, a new patient’s “Bill of Rights” gives the American people the stability and flexibility they need to make informed choices about their health.

“The debate team decided that we wanted to do something to service our community,” said Thomas. “We could use the skills that the students have in debating to help educate the community about issues that are important and timely to the community.”

Special guest judges are Mayor Chris Rey of Spring Lake, Dr. Karla Holloway, professor of Duke University and lawyer Katherine Hudson from Legal Aid of North Carolina.

“We invite community judges that people will recognize and that will help draw in an audience so they can come in and learn more about the issues,” said Thomas. “Winning the debate is not really the point.”

Thomas added that the winning team will receive a glass bowl trophy.

Invitations were sent to all of the schools in Cumberland County in order to bring students to see the debate.

“Please come out and support the debate,” said Thomas. “Most people feel that debates are boring but it will be full of energy and it is a really entertaining event.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact William Thomas at wthomas3@uncfsu.edu.

Photo: The 4th Annual Frederick Douglass Debates are scheduled for Feb. 24 at Fayetteville State University.

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