Christendom’s Chester-Belloc Debate Society raised over $500 this past Sunday evening for the local Loaves and Fishes food pantry in Front Royal, Va., as part of its first-ever charity debate. Hoping to make a larger impact on the local community, the Chester-Belloc Society held the function in an effort to encourage the entire Christendom community to give focus on charitable giving, particularly during the Lenten season.
The tongue-in-cheek debate topic resolution was “man is more rational than woman,” drawing a lot of students to participate, and express their insights into this subject. The resolution ultimately failed by about 10 votes, with the conclusion that man is not more rational than woman.
Different from the format of a typical society debate, each speaker was required to donate 25 cents prior to speaking. If someone was unhappy with a speech being given, he could donate twenty dollars and the speech would stop immediately. These additions made the debate exciting, and quite humorous, but also drew important focus to the need to give charitably to others in the community.
“It helped to put the whole aspect of almsgiving into concrete practice, and it allowed the debate society, and all who came out to participate, to truly make a difference in the community at large,” said chairman of the debate society Thomas Maurer, ‘15.
A senior at Christendom, Maurer has been a member of the debate society since his freshman year, and hopes that the popularity of the charity debate on Sunday will allow for more to be held in the future.
“It was one of the most engaging debates we’ve ever held. The donations people made during the debate made impacts right there on the floor, making the whole evening even more exciting. It was a fun night, but even more importantly it was a charitable one.”
The Chester-Belloc Debate Society is a student-run organization, existing to provide students with the opportunity to sharpen their intellectual wit and provide practice in extemporaneous speaking. The Debate Society meets several times throughout each semester, and all members of the student body are invited to participate.