For the second year, my friend and colleague Suzan Phenicie hosted a campus political debate. Phenicie, using the help of other faculty members, selected four students to participate in the debate. Phenicie, myself, and others including our department chair evaluated and modified a number of excellent debate questions submitted by students and members of the faculty. I served as a judge with several others to determine the winner of the contest; we all used a rubric designed by Phenicie to “objectively” decide a winner. The key thing I listened to was the extent at which a student used prepared research to back his or her argument. I felt this was a reasonable way to evaluate the contest seeing that students knew the questions in advance. Plus, two of my favorites were participating thus I could not afford to be biased in my ruling.
Above: Sarah Salinas — one of my students in the debate has her very own fan club. This group makes up my United States history class.
Above are two of my favorite students. Jon Magiera and Sarah Salinas prepare for the political contest
Here are the questions asked to both groups:
1. Is it an invasion of privacy for HCHS to monitor off campus activities such as Facebook and parties and punish students based on this behavior?
2. Should someone who attends a private school have to pay public school taxes?
3. Texas currently grants automatic admission to students who are in the top 10% of their graduating class. Should this policy be done away with?
4. The five reasons for government are to maintain social order, provide public services, provide for national security, common defense and and economic system. Is the United States government over stepping these powers in regard to the possible nationalization of certain financial institutions.
5. Should people who have self inflicted disabilities such as drug drug/alcohol abuse be allowed to receive government disability benefits?
6. Obama lifted the ban on embryonic sten cell research, which was established by Bush. Do you agree with Obama’s decision?
7. Is the alliance with Israel beneficial to the U.S?
Above: Dillon and Carson chatting before we judged the debate. Dillon makes that tie look good.
Above: HCHS chapel just before the debate.
Above: Patrick and Joe getting ready for Sarah and Jon