Value Voters Discussed at Intercollegiate Debate

March 22, 2012

Representatives from the University of Mount Union and Walsh University participated in the 18th annual spring student debate at Mount Union recently.

Student debates have been held at Mount Union twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring, since 1994. The debates, which focus on topics of national importance, are organized by Dr. Santosh Saha, professor of history at Mount Union. The topic for the spring debate was “Resolved that value voters, religious conservatives and voters concerned about specific moral issues, constitute a distraction from the normal operations of American democracy.”

Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of the University, gave the introduction for the event. Participating Mount Union students were junior Chris Cugini, a communication major of Canton; freshman Jessica Elliott of Mentor; senior David Jeffers, a political science major of Louisville; senior Evan Washburn, a criminal justice major of Greenfield; sophomore Terika Callier of Youngstown, and sophomore Kristin Gainer, a political science major of Akron.

Judges for the debate were John Morris, Alliance attorney; Robert Garland, director of libraries at Mount Union; John Frazier, vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Mount Union; David Kuhlke, associate professor of economics, accounting and business administration at Mount Union and Carl Taylor, assistant professor of government and foreign affairs at Walsh University.

Moderators were Dr. John Recchiuti, professor of history, chair of the Department of History, director of the American Studies Program and the John E. and Helen Saffell Endowed Chair in Humanities and Dr. Lee Gray, professor of geology and chair of the Department of Geology.

Prior to the debate, Mount Union freshman Alexandra Fritsch, a public health major of Strongsville, sang “Who I Was Born to Be” by Susan Boyle.

During the event, students from Walsh and Mount shared speeches for and against the resolution.

After the speeches, participants were then given an opportunity to ask questions of the opposing side of the debate and audience members were invited to ask questions as well.

“Value voters use their beliefs to guide their choices,” Cugini said, arguing against the resolution. “To silence them is to silence every American.”

Gainer, arguing for the resolution, said value voters are a “distraction” to the democratic process and may miss the bigger picture by voting based solely on a candidate’s stance on a few issues.

Winners of the debate were announced as follows: Chris Cugini, first; David Jeffers, second; Kristin Gainer, third and Walsh student David Newcomb, fourth. The top three winners received a gift certificate and all participants received a participation certificate.


2012 Spring Student Debate

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