Forensics Society Set to Debate British National Debate Team Nov. 10

Forensics Society Set to Debate British National Debate Team Nov. 10

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -  The following is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi:

For the third year in a row, The University of Southern Mississippi will host the British National Debate Team as they take on the Southern Miss Forensics Society in a friendly debate. The debate will be held Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Ballroom on the Hattiesburg campus. Sponsored by the Department of Communication studies in the College of Arts and Letters, the event is free and open to the public.

Each year, two university students from Great Britain are selected to represent the United Kingdom and tour the United States, debating collegiate teams at various universities across the country, an event that is sponsored by the National Communication Association.

Southern Miss will be the only school visited in Mississippi and one of the very few universities in the southeastern United States.

Joshua Von Herrmann, a senior from Hattiesburg, Miss., and Meredith McPhail, a junior from Mobile, Ala. will face off against Kate Brooks and Alice Coombes Huntley of the British National Debate Team. The debate topic is, "In the United States, the use of state force is justified to quell public protest."

Dr. Ashley Mack, director of Southern Miss Forensics Society, says that the event will be live-Tweeted and participants can even vote for the winner using Twitter.

"The point here is not to advocate one position, rather it is to get people talking about an issue of grave importance to the university, the State of Mississippi, and also the United States," Mack said.

There will be real-time voting and results from the audience, throughout and at the end of the debate.

Von Hermann, president of the Southern Miss Forensics Society, believes the debate will be a showcase event for the university and is honored to be involved.

"This year's topic about the government's right to shut down protest is going to be especially controversial because it draws images of the protests going on in Hong Kong and Ferguson. It's an awesome opportunity to get to discuss these important world events," said Von Hermann.

For more information about the British National Debate or other events in the College of Arts and Letters, visit