Page 9 - Windows Spring 2015
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In 1935, Wiley College was invited to compete against TCU’s debate
                                                                           team on the school campus. This marked the first interracial debate to
                                                                           take place on a southern college campus.

                                                                           To celebrate the 80th anniversary of that historic debate, Wednesday
                                                                           night’s debate took place on the same day and at the same time as the
                                                                           one in 1935.

                                                                           “That kind of coming together, that’s something that’s unprecedented,”
                                                                           said Benjamin Turner, a senior English major at Wiley College and one
                                                                           of the participants in the debate. “[We are] forging that new history and
                                                                           creating that new standard like they did 80 years ago.”

TCU sophomore Timothy Betts (left) and Wylie College Debator,              The debate itself focused on the topic of whether a citizen-focused
Benjamin Earl Turner (right) debate over citizen-focused vs.               police force is preferable to a militarized police force.TCU argued for
militarized police force (TCU360/Tad Desai)                                the former, while Wiley College sided with the latter.

 A debate 80 years                                                         “This is a big debate within America today,” said Kelsey Fahler, senior
  in the making....                                                        strategic communication major and president of the TCU Forensics
                                                                           team. “I think it’s important for voters to get opinions about that, and I
                                                                           think this debate allows for discussion for those voters,”

                                                                           Fahler competed alongside Timothy Betts, sophomore philosophy
                                                                           major. The two argued for a citizen-focused police force, stating that
                                                                           providing military weapons to police reinforces a “war-zone mindset,”
                                                                           and therefore are not necessary.

                                                                           The team also pointed out there are other organizations, such as the
                                                                           National Guard, that are more equipped to handle situations where
                                                                           military weapons are needed and police should instead be used to defuse
                                                                           potentially violent situations.

                                                                           “[Preparation] encompassed a lot of internet research, academic
                                                                           research, historic research and coming up with the best argument using
                                                                           that,” Fahler said.

                                                                           The Wiley College team included Turner and sophomore Jesus Cardenas
                                                                           who argued that a militarized police force “is about preparedness.”

                                                                           They elaborated by explaining militarization goes beyond supplying
                                                                           weapons and includes training for any situation a police officer could
                                                                           run into. The duo argued that controversial deaths caused by police such
                                                                           as Michael Brown and Eric Garner were caused by lack of training and
                                                                           not by militarization.

TCU senior Kelsey Fahler (left) and Wiley College sophomore Jesus          “We hated the idea of actually militarizing the police so the challenge
Cardenas (right) debate over citizen-focused vs. militarized police force  was how do we debate a position that we don’t necessarily personally
(TCU360/Tad Desai)                                                         agree with?” Turner said. “So that means we set aside our feelings and
                                                                           find benefits of someone else’s philosophy.”

                                                                           Several hundred people attended the debate including TCU Provost
                                                                           Nowell Donovan and Dr. David Whillock, Dean of the Schieffer College
                                                                           of Communication.”

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