Loyola University Maryland



Thursday, October 27th 
Public Debate
5 p.m., McGuire Hall
Sponsored by the Loyola Rhetoric Society and Messina

About the event:

On Thursday, October 27th, Messina and the Loyola Rhetoric Society will host two events that will be of broad interest to students and faculty alike.  

At 3pm in Sellinger VIP, alum and LA Times White House and presidential election campaign correspondent Mike Memoli (Communication, '04) will answer questions about pursuing a career in journalism and talk about his own experience. Students interested in journalism are especially encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served.

At 5pm in McGuire Hall, five faculty & students will debate election issues, ranging from free speech to gun control to police racial profiling, followed by remarks by Mr. Memoli.  Mike Memoli is a White House and 2016 presidential campaign correspondent at the Los Angeles Times, whose Washington, D.C., bureau he has been a part of since 2010. For 11 years he has covered national politics, and he has served as a journalist for Tribune, Real Clear Politics, and NBC. A New Jersey native and an avid sports fan, he graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2004.

The debate panelists are Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead (Communication), Dr. Michael Runnels (Law and Social Responsibility), Emma Muir (Political Science, '17), Karl Dehmelt  (Writing, '18), and Cole Davis (Political Science, '19).  

Resources for Attendees:

Questions for Reflection:


  • How do you feel about disagreement? Do you enjoy arguing with your family, friends, other students, and professors? Or do you shy away from disagreement when it arises? 
  • What role should disagreement and debate play in a democratic society like our own, where people have different values, beliefs, and experiences? What is the best way to resolve disagreement?
  • James Herrick, a scholar of argumentation, claims there are 5 virtues for conducting productive disagreement. People who disagree with one another should 1) be honest, 2) have courage to state their true opinions, 3) cooperate with one another to come to the best conclusion, 4) respect each other, and 5) value forums that foster healthy and rigorous debate. Do you agree with these virtues? Would you subtract or add any of your own?


  • How would you describe the style and tone of the debate? How does it compare in style and tone to the 2016 presidential debates (if you saw them) or other debates you've witnessed or participated in? What kind of style and tone do you think is best for conducting fruitful debate?
  • When people disagree, they often break over the facts, definitions of key terms, values, actions that should be taken, and who has the right to talk and make decisions about the issue. What were the main points of disagreement among the panelists? Did you see any common ground that could help bring the opposing sides together?
  • Where do you stand on the issues presented at the debate? Did the debate help you look at any of these issues in a different light or consider another perspective? If you think some or all of these questions are important, how might you help foster discussion about these topics? How might we best move forward to resolve our disagreement on these issues?


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