On Thursday, November 13th, the Seminole campus Digitorium hosted the Great Debate Finals. Six St. Petersburg College student finalists from Downtown/Midtown, Gibbs, Seminole, Clearwater and Tarpon Springs competed for $1,000 in prizes.
The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College organized the event as part of its mission to promote civic engagement and academic excellence. The preliminary debates took place during the week of October 13th on each of the competing campuses. Downtown/Midtown, Gibbs, and Tarpon Springs debated guns on campus. Clearwater campus debated Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, and Seminole debated medical marijuana. The final debate at Seminole campus was on the topic of immigration reform.
Seminole campus Provost Dr. James Olliver made the opening remarks and turned the podium over to moderator Professor Earl Fratus who outlined the rules. Scoring for the debate was based on clear, well presented arguments. The debaters in the finals were Justine Knox of Tarpon campus, Sammi Iachello of Tarpon campus, Zoe Gambel of Clearwater campus, Laken Hamby of Seminole campus, Catherine Stacy of Gibbs campus, and Martha Rhine of Midtown/Downtown campuses.
Judges awarded Martha Rhine first place and a gift card for 500 dollars. Catherine Stacy placed second and won a gift card for 250 dollars. Justine Knox took third place and won a 125 dollar gift card.