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SMU to Host Debate with Rwandan National Debate Team December 3

SMU will host a one-hour debate with the Rwandan national debate team at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 3 in room 241 of the Umphrey Lee Center, 3300 Dyer St. on the SMU campus. SMU was selected as one of several national stops for the team, which is on a two-month, multi-city U.S. tour that also includes debates at Pepperdine University, Yale and Harvard.

The topic for the evening debate is “The United States has an obligation to take the international lead against global instances of genocide.”

The SMU debate team will take the affirmative and Rwanda will take the negative. The debate is related to a recently published book by SMU debate director and associate professor Ben Voth titled The Rhetoric of Genocide: Death as a Text. The book argues that genocide can be abolished as a human practice by the end of this century. Basma Raza (B.A. Communication Studies ’14), who won a national championship in 2013 as a novice division debater, and current SMU debater Mattie Lippe (B.A. Journalism ’16) will represent SMU.

Guest judges from the George W. Bush Institute and the Dallas law community will preside over the debate. Community members and students attending the debate will also have the opportunity to voice their opinions. The event will conclude with an audience ballot and presentation of results.

The event is sponsored by the Meadows School’s Division of Communication Studies and is free and open to the public. For more information, call 214-768-2787 or contact Dr. Ben Voth at Visit here for more information on the Rwanda debate team.

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