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Brits Vs. Yanks in a Public Debate
Tuesday, October 30, 2007 - 7:00pm
The Portland State University Debate Team will take on the British National Debate Team in an Exhibition Debate on Tuesday October 30th. The topic for the debate will be: Resolved: Media Consolidation harms the democratic process. The debate will be in the format of British Parliamentary Debate, which features 4 teams of two debaters.

The British National Debate Team is currently on a tour of the United States, visiting such schools as Cornell University and Boston College. The team consists of two debaters, chosen from among a number of applicants, based on their outstanding debate performances. The first debater is Alex Just. Alex is a senior at Oxford, studying Politics and History, and is a former President of the Oxford Union. Alex is a two-time World Championships Grand Finalist in both 2004 in Singapore and 2005 in Malaysia. The second debater is Alistair Cormack. Alistair is a recent graduate of Durham University, studying both History and Politics. Alistair is a former President of the Durham Union Society, and was a finalist at the English National Championships.

Jil Freeman, a media expert and professor at Portland State, understands the significance of the topic for the debate. "Media Consolidation is simultaneously one of the most important and least talked about issues facing our culture. The limitations consolidation places on democracy, free expression and public discourse are endless. Having the opportunity to hear this issue debated in a public format is something we all should take advantage of."

Josh Gross, one of the coordinators and senior members of the team concurs, "the fact of the matter is that the essential element of a functioning democracy is a functioning media. The two concepts are so intertwined that it's nearly useless to discuss one without the other."

When: Tuesday, October 30th, 2007
Where: PSU Smith Memorial Student Union, room 327
Time: 7:00 pm

For more information about the British Exhibition Debate or about the Portland State debate team, contact Chris Richter at Or call 503-725-8283.

Along with holding public debates, the team also hosts a weekly radio show entitled "The Debate Hour," which can be heard every Wednesday from 3-4pm on KPSU (AM 1450).

The Portland State Debate Team is currently ranked in the top four teams in the United States, and 72nd internationally. The team competes at regional, national, and international tournaments; and will be the host of this year's national championships in April. Already this year the team has had tremendous success, advancing two of their three competing teams to the semi-final round at the U.S. Universities National Open held at Claremont College.