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SMU Students Vote In Favor of Military Intervention for Libya

SMU debate team discusses pros and cons of possible new U.S. policy of humanitarian intervention as part of three-day Communicating Excellence Symposium

Last night at O’Donnell Auditorium on the campus of SMU, students publicly debated for over an hour whether the U.S. should have a policy of military intervention in humanitarian crises. The debate focused on the current humanitarian crisis in Libya, and students voted 23-17 that the U.S. should have an intervention policy. An audience of more than 50 heard the arguments in O’Donnell as part of this week’s Communicating Excellence Symposium sponsored by the Meadows School’s Division of Communication Studies.

Brittany Levingston and Roza Essaw took the affirmative side of the debate and argued how lives in Libya would be saved if the U.S. would declare a no-fly zone over the region. Tyler Murray and Jordan Wondrack argued on the negative side that the effort would escalate into war and resentment against the United States and that other diplomatic solutions would be superior to military action. Dr. Ben Voth, chair of communication studies, then moderated an audience debate, taking comments from the auditorium regarding a possible action. Audience members were equally divided on the issue. The debaters were all members of the SMU debate program.

The event was attended by Auschwitz Holocaust survivor Agi Geva, who spoke about her experiences at the concentration camp on Monday night as part of the symposium. The three days of events are focusing on a theme of better communication for better leaders on human rights.

Today, March 9, Patrick Mureithi will present a film about the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and how reconciliation was achieved through communication in recent years. The event is open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in O’Donnell Auditorium.

SMU debaters will travel to Kansas City to compete in a national competition during spring break. For more information, call 214-768-1574.

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