Students Choose Which Professor Will Live in Raft Debate

Published: September 19, 2014 | Read Time: 3 minutes

President Wyatt confirms with a shark that he has a spot on the survivors raft

SUU President Scott L Wyatt secures his seat on the raft with the survivor's spokeshark.

Lying on a sandy beach, waves crashing on the shore. Sounds like paradise, but for five Southern Utah University professors it could be their death. The entire world is destroyed and their fate rests in the hands of the college students floating in a raft. Room for only one they say. Who will it be?

They need a leader to help rebuild their post-apocalyptic world, so will it be the scientist? Or maybe the artist or the teacher? Thunderbird Nation will have to choose which professor they deem a valuable component to rebuilding their government, their society, and their economics on Tuesday, September 23 in part of the Great Raft Debate at 11:30 a.m. in the Auditorium.

Professors on the cutting block will be giving five minutes to prove how their skill set is necessary to society’s final survivors. But why should the floating raft choose any of those professors? Opposing each professor’s view will be the Devil Advocate, with a goal to convince each survivor to vote for no one.

While this event may be mandatory for students a part of the Passport Class, all are welcome to attend to see some of the most dynamic faculty verbally joust to the death to learn who is needed in the new society.

To decide who will be chosen are a panel of first-year students and the audience, who will vote via text message. The panel of judges will choose the professor who most effectively declared “my college is valuable to humanity because…”

Giving a taste of why they should be chosen to live, the following professorial castaways will represent their respective colleges and hopefully humanity:

David Berri: School of Business
“I have taught economics for 15 years. I do not think you can re-build civilization if you have no idea how we got where we are today. And you can’t know how we got here if you do not know both economics and history.”

Kyle Bishop: Devil’s Advocate
“It’s going to be difficult for all these educators to convince the good people of Southern Utah University that there is hope in a future when they rely solely on education. We don’t need education, just the knowledge that comes from experience.”

Bill Heybourne: College of Science & Engineering
“Its obvious that a faculty member from the science and engineering should survive because it represents the knowledge base required for survival (nursing, nutrition, medicine, engineering, biology). AND, I, in particular, have expertise in venomous animals, so I’m a great resource for dealing with anything dangerous. While the other disciplines might be necessary for quality of life our immediate issue is survival. If we don't survive, those other things are not even an option. Just sayin' …”

John Meisner: College of Education & Human Development
“The teacher should be chosen for the raft because only he has both the general knowledge of all the other disciplines and the skills to convey that information to the others.  Having a wealth of knowledge is wonderful, but if that individual is incapable of explaining it in an understandable and meaningful way, what good is it? Only a skilled teacher possesses both.”

Denise Purvis: College of Performing & Visual Arts
“The arts are the soul of society.”

Charla Strosser: College of Humanities & Social Sciences
“I think the reason my college should win is all in the name: Humanities and Social Sciences. I think it would be pretty hard to rebuild any society worth living in without our perspective on humanity and the human condition.”

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