Honor Society Debate: Is Race a Social or Genetic Concept

The debate was an impressive clash of intellectual abilities as both sides were knowledgeable and showed an in-depth understanding of the issues involved.  

The two debating teams were made up of four participants each.  Each participant had seven minutes to state and prove a point. The judges were Emilienne Akpan, Interim Director of the Writing Center; Dr. Brian Reed, Associate Professor of Writing, and Dr. Charles Reith, Associate Professor for Natural & Environmental Science and Director of Sustainability. 

As the teams were gearing up to take the stage, STARS Club’s former president, Kingsley Jima, briefly introduced the debate and the contestants. Mrs. Akpan gave a rundown of the debate criteria.  

The debate kicked off with Ruben Ikape, an NES major, taking the floor and astounding his audience with the argument that race is a genetic concept. Up on Mr. Ikape’s heels was Abdulmalik Garba, the next speaker, who refuted some of Ikape’s claims, while laying down his in the process. Garba argued that the genes are mere continuous variations. 

As the participants battled on, more facts were put forth, appeals were made, and claims were brilliantly counteracted amidst ovation from the audience. 

 A five-minute break was called and the participants were allowed to recompose themselves for the final phase of the debate.  

Shortly after the break, each of the two teams was given a one-speaker opportunity to present closing remarks on behalf of their teams. This was done by Marilyn Elechi, supporting genetics, and Yasmine Abdulkadir, supporting social concept. As the judges reviewed their results and tallied points, the audience had an opportunity to voice their opinions. The Student Government Association President, Basil Abia, and Esio Oboho, a student, aired their views on the debate topic. 

Mrs. Akpan announced the results of the debate after a brief speech congratulating both teams on a highly stimulating session. Team Genetics won the contest with 14.5 points while Team Social Concept came close with 12.5 points. This was after “careful deliberations” with her fellow judges, Mrs. Akpan said.  

The event came to a close as Team Genetics walked away with a cash prize.

By Emmanuel Wogu, Majoring in Communications and Multimedia Design

The Writing Center

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