New program to encourage debate among students, profs

Nathan Winegar

In an attempt to get students and professors to argue about more than grades, the Provost’s Office will sponsor a new program in a series of “Great Debates” beginning next fall.

The quarterly debates will involve students, faculty and administrators, Assoc. Provost Stephen Fisher said. In the first debate, slated for Oct. 10, three people on each side will argue if the Internet is hazardous to a user’s health.

Political science Prof. Susan Herbst came up with the idea of the debates.

“We wanted to create a culture of argument at NU,” Herbst said. “We hope to make NU a place where we talk politics and culture in class and outside of class.”

The “Great Debates” will allow more academic interaction since student-professor discussions often revolves around grades, Herbst said.

In a press release, Provost Lawrence Dumas said he hopes the debates will allow participants to “gain new perspectives on important issues by engaging in informed discussion.”

“Argumentation and critical thinking are important parts of any student experience,” he said.

Debates are slated for Jan. 17 and April 10.