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Students debate current political topics

ISSUED: 9 March 2023


The Stubblefield Institute Civility Club hosted the third annual “Not Your Parents’ Debate” Debate on Wednesday night at the Robert C. Byrd Center auditorium. This event was an opportunity for four students and a moderator to demonstrate a civil political discussion about serious topics. Questions related to the structure of government as it relates to multiple political parties, freedom and responsibilities of comedians, and opinions on West Virginia SB10, the Campus Self-defense Act. 

Group photo of students who participated in Stubbelfield Institute debate.

Pictured (from l. to r.) are Zayd Alnabulsi, Josiah Wink, moderator Chloe Bailey, Evie Blodgett, and Alonzo Perry.

The Civility Club members chose the topics for this debate together over several months and decided to include SB10 once it had passed the Judiciary Committee. The bill was signed into law by Governor Jim Justice on the same day as the club’s debate

After the debate, each participant was presented with a Civility Certificate. Moderator Chloe Bailey explained that the certificates were a new addition to the annual event. “We decided to give them because the debaters wouldn’t have been selected for this event if they were not already civility champions and this was a way to thank them.” 

Forty students attended the debate, listening attentively to the arguments and counterarguments made by the debaters. Afterward, the students continued the discussion over pizza. Bailey explained that sometimes students do not know what is happening in the legislative session. Events like this on-campus debate can help bring these issues into their awareness. 

The Civility Club is a group of Shepherd University students passionate about advancing civil discourse among all students. The Club, a student-led initiative of the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications, promotes understanding, civility, and civic engagement. 

About the Stubblefield Institute:

The mission of the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications is to serve as an active center for the study and promotion of civil political discourse, inspire intelligent, authentic and constructive debate, and encourage positive civic engagement for both students and the public alike. We seek to demonstrate that when opposing viewpoints are respected and legitimized in ways that avoid negative labeling, alienation, and silencing, it can strengthen our nation’s ability to better challenges and solve problems.

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