Mount Union Students Debate Government Involvement

March 31, 2010

Bradley Kerstetter, a junior business administration major of Louisville, OH was awarded first prize at the semi-annual Mount Union Student Debate held on Wednesday, March 24 in Chapman Hall. Earning second place honors was Steven Kandray, a freshman of Boardman. Kaley Smitley, a senior English: literature major of North Canton, OH captured the third place prize.

The topic for debate was “Resolved: Greater government involvement in economic and social affairs is good for the United States at the present time.” Debating against it were Kerstetter, Smitley and Steve Yacovone, a freshman of Mineral Ridge, OH. Participants debating in favor included Kandray, Kody Severino, a freshman of Ashtabula, OH, Josh Pickens, a senior psychology and sociology major of Montgomery, AL and Taylor Yoder, a freshman of Bridgeport, OH.

According to Kerstetter, “The government is trying to take control as if we are children who need our hands held and don’t know any better.” He used the examples of Medicare and the United States Postal Service to illustrate how the government “cannot run a business because they are not looking for profits.”

Smitley argued that federal involvement in the new health care bill is inherently unconstitutional and violates the Tenth Amendment, separation of powers and how attorney generals in 14 states have filed suits to block the plan. “Congress has no power to meddle in private institutions,” she said.

“The government should protect the welfare of its citizens, not run their lives,” said Yacovone.

“Bailouts are not a new phenomenon,” said Kandray citing several examples from the 1970s. “Function is more important than fairness,” he added when it comes down to fairness versus stepping in to save the economy.

“The United States is the only developed country that doesn’t have universal healthcare,” said Pickens. “If you already have a plan, you don’t have to change.”

 “Insurance companies will be required to cover you,” said Yoder. “It will guarantee coverage for 9,000 Ohioans with pre-existing conditions and extend coverage until age 26 for dependents.”

“It makes healthcare more affordable and available to all,” said Severino.

Dr. James Thoma, professor of human performance and sport business and associate dean of the College, provided the introduction.  Dr. Thomas Gannon, professor of education and co-chair of the Department of Education, served as moderator. Judges for the debate included Dr. Francis Schortgen, assistant professor of political science and international studies; Theresa Davis, instructor of history; Dr. Fendrich Clark, assistant professor of communication; Robert Garland, director of libraries; Harry Paidas, associate professor in residence and chair of the Department of Communication and assistant to the president for community affairs; and Frank Tascone, assistant professor of English.  

Thoma distributed prizes to the winning students and certificates to all participants.

The student debate is organized annually by Dr. Santosh Saha, professor of history.

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