Why it's Important to have Political Debates in College

Just the other day, I was sitting in the Monroe 4th floor common room, minding my own business, when all of a sudden, a lively conversation was started.  At first, I was purely listening—a bystander, you might say.  All I had at stake was my current level of productivity, which, to be completely honest, was already dwindling at a shockingly fast rate.  So, once I heard the word “politics” uttered from the lips of my fellow floor-mate, I knew that all hell was about to break lose.

As an avid politico and master debater (self-proclaimed, of course), I was immediately intrigued in the idea of finally getting what I’ve always wanted out of my college experience: a lively and emotionally charged political debate!  Something I envisioned before even arriving at Tulane was the moment in which I could express myself freely, surrounded by those with differing opinions playing the devil’s advocate and pushing me to think outside the box.

Having political debates in college is absolutely imperative not only because it forces you to feel comfortable with speaking your mind, but also because it enables people from all walks of life to come together to talk about a subject on which most people have opinions.  For example, in my personal experience, I have found that these debates can actually bring people closer together, even if they have differing views.  Everyone has something to say about their own political beliefs, and because of this, it causes those who may never talk otherwise to become, for lack of a better word, chummy.

Even beyond people becoming closer over a lively discussion, the power of political debate in college is endless.  College is a place to express oneself, and that can easily be accomplished through voicing your opinion in a debate-type setting.  You are finally able to share with others the way you truly feel without any repercussion.  Now, you obviously need to be careful with this tactic, because in every situation respect is imperative.  Once mutual respect is achieved, however, politics can serve as a platform for an enriching and educational discourse.