Thursday, April 30, 2015

[398] MTSU Debate Team hosts Irish debaters in lively exhibition

Does the United Nations have an obligation to protect?

That was the question debated April 1 as three members of the MTSU Blue Raider Debate Team squared off against a trio of national champions from Ireland in a special exhibition inside the Business and Aerospace Building.

The subject for the noncompetitive exhibition was “Resolved: The United Nations has an obligation to protect,” with the Irish team arguing the affirmative while MTSU’s team asserted that the U.N. doesn’t have the necessary authority to fulfill such a mission.

The debaters focused on the intervention of the U.N.’s blue-helmeted, armed peacekeeping forces in conflicts around the world and included discussion of the U.N.’s overall mission.

The MTSU team was made up of Leigh Stanfield, a junior communication studies major from Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee; Hailey Lawson, a senior psychology major from Smyrna, Tennessee; and Alvin Loyd, a senior political science major from Memphis, Tennessee.

Pat Richey, director of forensics at MTSU and debate team coach, selected the MTSU representatives.

They took on an Irish team featuring Eoin MacLachlan of University College Dublin and Ronan O’Connor and Hugh Guidera, both of Trinity College Dublin. The three students, who won the 55th annual debate competition sponsored by the Irish Times newspaper in February, praised MTSU for its hospitality during their stay.

The visit was supported by the College of Liberal Arts, Office of International Affairs, Blue Raider Debate, Pi Kappa Delta Honor Society: TN Zeta Chapter, National Parliamentary Debate Association, Office of the University Provost and Department of Communications

For more information, contact Richey at 615-898-2273 or

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