On Thursday, Elon will host what is supposed to be its largest election-related event on campus yet. A mock debate will be held in Whitley Auditorium, with four teams of five people apiece each sharing their group's outlook on three general topics. These topics were selected by 600 student, faculty and staff who casted votes at College Coffee and online.
Each team will make an opening statement, then will take turns making statements on the issues of the economy, health care and same-sex marriage. They will then get a closing statement and, if time permits, will be allowed to address questions from the audience.
The debate team members come from a variety of departments and majors, ranging from piano performance to political science and everything in between. There are also two faculty members.
Junior Wesley Rose is on the Independent team and will be speaking on the issue of health care. He said this debate provides a unique opportunity to show sides of the political spectrum not featured in the mainstream debates in this election.
“I wouldn’t have participated were it not for the Independent option,” he said.
The format of the debate does not allow for rebuttals or arguing with other teams, something Rose said is a strength of this format.
“The weight will be on us, the speakers, to be able to present our ideas well and clearly,” he said.
On the Democrat team, senior Ben Waldon will also be discussing health care. He said the partisan nature of politics can throw a lot of people off, but that this event will be fun to take part in and that they’re expecting a full house with both students and community members present.
“Even though we’re representing one particular party, we’re students and we’re reasonable people,” he said. “The way we win is by presenting the most logical and reasonable arguments.”
The debate will be moderated by Dick Gordon, host of “The Story” on WUNC, the local NPR affiliate.
The teams include:
[box]Democrats Junior Hannah Ignasher Jeremy Teetor, assistant bursar for information management Freshman John Cameron Crowder Senior Ben Waldon Senior Carly Ledbetter[/box] [box]Republican Senior Patrick Brown Freshman Rebecca Sansale Junior Jack Minor, Jr. Senior Mark Rehbein Senior Joe Perron[/box] [box]Independent Senior Wesley Rose Martin Fowler, lecturer of philosophy Junior Natalie Cuzmenco Freshman Austin Pederson Senior David Gagne[/box] [box]International Freshman Ameya Benegal Junior Ala Eddina Maaref Sophomore Nicole Payne Sophomore Muhammad Musah Sophomore Emily Ackers[/box]