Elli Child, a sophomore studying political science, stares at her opponent, Jacob Dowdle, a junior studying mechanical engineering, from across the table. The room falls quieter as they quickly research the topic. Then it is time to debate. The opponents’ eyes lock, the timer starts and they begin. Child starts her argument, focusing on victory.
“Pepsi represents America… starting from nothing and gaining an empire,” Child said. “They haven’t always had the reputation Coke has had, but they have stepped their way up. Pepsi is the American dream because it encourages things like feminism and making your way in the world.”
On the other hand, Dowdle argued that Coke, with its established history and secret recipe, is the superior beverage.
“It tastes better,” Dowdle said.
Coke vs. Pepsi, Constitutional Constructionism vs. a Living Constitution, The Office vs. Parks and Recreation and solutions to prison overcrowding were a few of the topics debated at the Political Affairs society’s Speed Debating event on Feb. 13.
For Jocelyn Deering, a senior studying political science, the show Parks and Recreation is more than just a popular comedy; it reflects a shift in the way society views women in addition to being a more accurate portrayal of the workplace.
“I think that having a female lead shows… we want to prove that women (can) have the same or equal jobs (as men),” Deering said. “In Parks and Recreation, you see females portrayed as strong women.”
Although the portrayal of women varies between the two shows, Dowdle countered Deering’s claims by arguing that nothing can beat the rivalry between Jim and Dwight in The Office.
Despite the abundance of more light-hearted topics, participants also took on more serious issues, as they debated to what extent the Constitution of the United States should be interpreted literally, and whether rehabilitation was a successful option for decreasing prison overcrowding.
Nicholas Loosle, president of Political Affairs Society and a senior studying political science, said the society hosts other activities, including game nights, grad panels, internship fairs and guest speakers from the state legislature and local government.
This semester, the society is hosting a nature retreat, which is coming up in March, for the purpose of networking with faculty and fellow students, and to receive lectures and advice from faculty members.
The Political Affairs Society meetings are roughly every other week at 7 p.m. in the Thomas E. Ricks Building room 247, and students of all majors and opinions are invited to join.