Debate Program Engagement in '15-'16
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From AY '15-'16: Led by Mike Davis in the School of Communication Studies, the debate program advances James Madison’s belief that a republican democracy is healthy only when informed and civil debate thrives. Annual projects include the Madison Commemorative Debate and Citizen’s Forum, a public event that features the Madison Cup national competition. This year’s Madison Cup debate topic was: ‘This house believes that militarization of police in the United States is necessary to protect and serve.’ The event took place on April 18 in Wilson Hall and attracted an audience of about 400 people. Davis also coordinated a high school invitational, held on campus in December, and summer Debate Institutes for area schoolchildren in July. A special project involved local middle school students in the Valley Scholars Program; Davis and JMU students in his debate class prepared the youth for a Shark-tank style simulation in which they pitched ideas for improving school policies.