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The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Spectrum of Perspectives: N.C. A&T Political Action Committee Hosts “The Great Debate”

The Spectrum of Perspectives: N.C. A&T  Political Action Committee Hosts “The Great Debate”

Energetic conversations called for a dynamic atmosphere at the Great Debate in the Deese Ballroom hosted by The Political Action Committee (PAC)

The format was as follows: The moderators, members of the PAC, would present a controversial statement on the screen, the participants would then move to one of the 4 lines on the spectrum that ranges from strongly agree, agree, disagree to strongly disagree. Once everyone was on their respective lines, up to 5 people were chosen to explain their point of view. After they shared their thoughts, the moderators would then put statistics on the screen that would provide background facts about the topic.

Going into the debate, lots of students expressed their confusion and worry about what they were getting themselves into through their body language. 

The PAC wanted the participants to feel comfortable before they shared their thoughts, so students were divided into five groups where they discussed what their similarities and differences were with one another. 

In the beginning, the moderators made the effort to encourage everyone to respect each other, but after a few spicy perspectives, that motto was lost. As the night progressed, arguments made by the students were either followed with applause or boos from their peers.

With a great turnout, the approximately 65 participants sparked very interesting conversations that spanned the topics of abortion, lgbtq+ rights, the death penalty and climate change to name a few. 

The statement “The death penalty should be legalized” was put on the screen. As majority of the participants contemplated their next step, junior mechanical engineering student, Tylen McGee, was one of the four participants that stood on the strongly agree side, while the rest represented strongly disagree. Tylen was given the chance to explain his stance, and as he was answering, the others began to boo his response. Tylen brushed it off, but that moment showed how heated political discourse can be. 

The crowd’s reaction to each statement had a heavy influence on the opinions of others. There was a lot of self-evaluation as students were made to question the topics as they spoke on them. 

As N.C. A&T continues to foster dialogue between students of all backgrounds and different belief systems, students feel it is important that the university continues to allow room for them to express themselves. 

“I believe events like this are what A&T does for our opinions to get heard, for our voices to be heard. A&T definitely does have opportunities for students to come out and voice their opinion,” McGee said

While some students believed that this event created an open space to voice their honest opinions, others believed that the wording of the political statements led to a variety of different interpretations. 

Student Government Association’s Attorney General and junior pre-law student, Madison Long, wants to bring people together to bridge the gap of divisiveness. 

“Let’s actually foster a conversation rather than just polarize. I feel like that adds to the culture of canceling, not listening to other opinions, which I don’t think that is what A&T wants to do,” Long said. 

Political discourse is pertinent to bridging the gap at the largest historically black university in the nation. This opens the door for students to freely express who they are and what they stand for as young adults. 

“Being black is not a monolith. We don’t all agree on the same things or need the same things,” A&T lecturer, Briana Hyman said. 

N.C. A&T is thriving with ambitious students looking to get a grasp on the politics of society. The university provided an opportunity for students to publicly express their views and discuss what others may think about the topic. 

Part of NC A&T’s duty is to educate students and encourage them to be their authentic selves, and this was a great moment to do so.

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