From Friday, Feb. 8, to Sunday, Feb. 10, Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Veritas Society visited Christendom College for two debates with Christendom’s Chester-Belloc Debate Society.
In the fall of 2018, the Chester-Belloc Debate Society (CBDS) invited the Veritas Society to Christendom College for two debates. The Veritas Society accepted the invitation, and on Feb. 8, four members of the Society traveled to Christendom College: sophomore Clement Harrold, president; junior Alex Denley, vice president; sophomore Daniel McNichol, secretary; and freshman Paul Denley, head of Dumb Ox Debates.
Over the weekend, there were two debates: one “scepter debate” and one regular Parliamentary debate.
A scepter debate is a debate in which the speaker changes according to who has a scepter that is passed around the participants. It is more flexible than a regular Parliamentary debate, since the topic of debate can shift.
The regular Parliamentary debate, the style of debate used in the Dumb Ox Debates on Franciscan’s campus, had one topic: “Resolved: Maximize profits during famine.” This was a throwback to a moral dilemma posed by Cicero in his “On Duties.”
The Veritas Society took the opposing side of the Parliamentary debate, arguing that profits should not be maximized during famine. The debate was decided by vote, and the majority of those present voted for the affirmative side, so the Veritas Society lost the debate.
At the end of the visit, the CBDS expressed interest in coming to Franciscan University for another debate in the future.
The Veritas Society was pleased with its visit to Christendom College and the debates it had there. Harrold said that the CBDS inspired the Dumb Ox Debates and that the Veritas Society modeled its debates after the example of the CBDS.
Harrold especially appreciated the opportunity to travel to debate with other college students, saying that it was a “good experience to network with another Catholic college.” He hopes to have future debates with other Catholic universities, such as Ave Maria University and Benedictine College.
“The whole event was a big success and reflected well on the university,” said Harrold, who hopes that the club continues with what he called “the first (such event) of many to come.”