There is nothing students love more than peeling back the layers of a professor and finding out that he or she is more than a talking head at the front of a classroom.
Sometimes this happens by discovering what secret hobbies a teacher is involved in or the special talents a teacher possesses.
Sometimes it manifests in an unlikely place, such as the Morgan Auditorium on a recent Friday evening.
A series of faculty debates were organized last month as part of the centennial celebration of the University of La Verne’s debate team and the events were more intriguing than the title let on.
Professors from various disciplines and departments paired up and debated about various topics, such as the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
The discussions were not necessarily the debater’s area of expertise or on the side of their personal opinion. This forced the participants to think creatively to come up with arguments for their respective sides in the 15 minutes they were given to prepare.
It was an opportunity to see professors in a different light and enjoy the talents and skills they have other than the ability to bestow their knowledge upon pupils.
It is commonly known across campus that La Verne’s student debate team is one of the best in the nation, and having faculty from different subjects participate in debates gains even more attention to the prestigious activity.
Some students who do not currently participate in the team could find themselves desiring to join after attending a debate featuring one of their professors, which could expand our already amazing team.
The concept of a faculty debate does not sound very thrilling and amusing on the surface. However audiences found themselves entertained and astonished at the exchange of arguments and ideas presented by professors.
Students commented about how they were unaware their teachers were so eloquent under pressure and loved seeing them present information and arguments outside of their element.
Not only did the debates provide a surprising source of entertainment, they provided students and faculty with knowledge and viewpoints that they might not have previously considered when thinking about controversial topics.
They fostered good natured competition within the school’s different departments and brought together professors who may not have worked together before, and gave the school a greater sense of community.
The faculty debates were labeled as the inaugural series, giving hope that these would become routine events.
The University needs to organize more faculty debates and make the event an annual, or an every once-a-semester, occurrence.
Students are fascinated and eagerly awaiting another series to attend, it just needs to come together and take place.