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Westminster welcomes University of West Georgia for The Great Debate II

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Posted on Friday, February 16, 2024

Westminster College will host The Great Debate II, an evening of civilized discourse featuring students from Westminster and the University of West Georgia (UWG), at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Dietz Sullivan Room of the Hoyt Science Center.

Westminster students Kent Dunn, a senior finance and accounting double major from West Valley City, Utah, and Ellis Moore, a junior political science and psychology double major from Millington, Mich., will face UWG’s Sophia Dal Pra and Robin Forsyth, debating the value of artificial intelligence (AI) on campus.
Dr. Randy Richardson, adviser to Westminster’s Speech and Debate Society, said the topic of AI on campus represents an attempt to explain and explore the most significant educational issue of our day.

“There are numerous immediate concerns related to the ethical boundaries of employing AI in writing papers and presentations. But beyond this, AI has the potential to change the way we think, act and learn in profound ways. What will it do to our expression, our creativity and art? The debate will raise these significant questions and invite critical inquiry into the pragmatics and philosophy of AI development,” he said.

The Great Debate series—designed to highlight the importance of returning to civilized, reasoned debate in public discourse—was an idea born from a discussion between Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson and UWG President Dr. Brendan Kelly. The series commenced last spring on UWG’s campus with teams from both schools debating the impact of social media on democracy.  

Each Great Debate team will give a constructive speech followed by a rebuttal speech. Audience members will have the opportunity to comment and question debaters before the closing remarks.

“Training in debate provides students with a means of understanding how to reason, how to communicate and how to disagree in a respectful, productive way,” he said. “Debate challenges students to develop their own voice—philosophically, socially, politically and literally.”

The event is free and open to the public.

For more about the evening, please contact Dr. Randy Richardson at

Pictured above are, from left, Ellis Moore, Kent Dunn and Dr. Randy Richardson.