» By ERICKA CONLEY – econley@my.apsu.edu

The topic of the fourth annual AP Debate Forum was “Is it morally and ethically acceptable to use deadly force to protect yourself or your property regardless of circumstances?”

The event was held at 6:30 p.m., March 19, 2012, in the Music/Mass Communications Building.

“The purpose of the debate forum is to provide an opportunity for students taking public speaking to practice the skills they are learning in class in a real life setting,” said Stacie Mumpower, Public Speaking Coordinator and instructor in the department of Communications. “Debate topics are current, socially relevant issues that engage students in discussion. The design of the event encourages students to voice their opinions in a more effective way.”

The debate forum began with the students on stage addressing the “for” and the “against” sides of the topic. After both sides debated the issue, the audience members were allowed to come on stage and debate the topic as well.

The students who participated in the debate forum were selected by an audition process. The students who are interested in being a part of the debate forum must be enrolled in public speaking. The six public speaking students who were on the panel were: Lauren Cobb, Denise Court, Devin Smith, Bruce Curry, Travis Holt and Rasheedi Price. Three students were “Pro” and three were “Con.”

Rasheedi Price, Sophmore and Political Science major, said, when he first volunteered for the debate, it was just for the extra credit, but his views changed after his little brother was shot two weeks ago. Price chose to be on the “Con” side of the debate, he said, because property can be replaced and a human life cannot.

Since the debate’s inception, there has been the use of social media during the debate. Audience members are able to use their mobile devices to be a part of polls and to post questions about the topic on Facebook and Twitter. The local and campus communities are also encouraged to participate using social media.

After the debate, the event was opened up to the audience. Fifteen people were able to come to the podium and discuss their views on the topic.

The debate was also broadcast live on APSU’s Channel 99 television station. TAS