UA CESR Hosts 9th Annual Moral Forum Competition – Awards $10,000 in Scholarships

By:    Date: 10-29-2014

Two pairs of UH 101 Moral Forum students competed for $10,000 in scholarships in the final round of the ninth annual James P. Hayes, Jr. Moral Forum debate tournament on Monday, October 27 in the Ferguson Theatre. Blair Bush, a pre-med student from Jackson, MS, and Brittany Johnson, a biology major from Tuscaloosa, AL, competed against Talmadge Butts, a political science major from Reform, AL, and Jacob McHugh, a political science major from Charlotte, NC. Both finalist teams had an exemplary debate and provided an exceptional final round. Congratulations to Butts and McHugh on winning the final round.

2014 Moral Forum images 182Moral Forum is an annual dialogue and debate program that involves extensive research as students prepare value-based case studies representing positions on each side of a controversial issue. This year, students argued in support of and opposition to the statement: In order to be a more moral society, the U.S. government should continue the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) in lethal engagement with foreign targets.

In teams of two, students conducted research, attended a six-part lecture series, and constructed position statements that addressed both sides of the use of drones in targeted killing in preparation for two required preliminary debate rounds. Each team argued both affirmative and negative sides of the same resolution.

Nearly 60 students were enrolled in the fall 2014 UH 101 Moral Forum course. Guest lecturers this fall included Steven Groves, a Senior Research Fellow with the Heritage Foundation, and Zeke Johnson, the Managing Director of Amnesty International USA’s Individuals and Communities at Risk program. Lane McLelland, the Director of UA’s Crossroads Community Center, and Dr. Mark Nelson, the Dean of UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences, also met with the class.