The Great Raft Debate: Who Will Live and Who Will Die?

Published: September 11, 2013 | Read Time: 2 minutes

The day everyone thought would never come has finally happened. The entire world is destroyed and what’s left of humanity is a few Southern Utah University students floating in the middle of the ocean on one lonely lifeboat, attempting to rebuild humanity.

They drift completely isolated in the middle of the ocean and finally a single uninhabitable island is spotted with six professors on its shore. But with only one open seat left on the raft, the lone T-Birds have a choice to make. Who, out of the six professors, are they going to choose to help them survive and recreate civilization?

This is may seem like an unlikely situation, but for Thunderbird Nation it will become a reality on Thursday, September 12 at 11:30 a.m. as part of The Great Raft Debate in the Auditorium, where students will choose which professor they believe should hypothetically live and help them restore society. 

The professors on the cutting block will represent each college at SUU and each will have five minutes to claim why their field of study is the most important to have in a post-apocalyptic world. After a few minutes for rebuttals, the Devil’s Advocate, represented by Ellen Treanor, communication professional-in-residence, will attempt to refute all claim and encourage the audience to vote for no one.

The following professors, who will be representing their respective colleges, are as follows: Mary Pearson with the School of Business, Shawn Christensen with the Beverley Taylor Sorenson College of Education & Human Development, Ty Redd with the Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science & Engineering, Peter Sham with the College of Performing & Visual Arts, and Kyle Bishop with the College of Humanities & Social Sciences.

All in attendance can then use their mobile phone to text their vote in of who they think should be the lone survivor. Along with being allowed to live, the winner will also receive a traveling oar made from Old Main wood.

This may be a mandatory event for all students part of the Passport Class, but anyone is welcome to attend, to see some of the most dynamic faculty hypothetically fight to the death and to see who will be the lone victor. 

Kim Roeder, executive director of Event Services who created the event, stated, “Through this one-hour event, all in attendance can learn about the importance of each college and each area of study the University offers. Students will hear one clarifying message, ‘my college is valuable to humanity because…’ But still have a little fun in the process.”

The Passport Class (UNIV2010) is a class for first year students that introduce them to the learning opportunities present outside of the classroom at SUU. It emphasizes four areas - Flight School and Orientation, Convocations, ThunderBard and Diversity Exploration. Each of these areas features event that are part of SUU's identity. 

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