Students weigh in on the debate

On Wednesday the Sam Houston Atheist Alliance and the Chi Alpha Fraternity, held what was supposed to be a debate about something that was never really specified.

With absolutely no idea that people would actually be interested in engaging in a discourse on religion, the SHAA was forced to turn back approximately 80-100 people standing outside the Olson Auditorium five minutes before the debate began. I was one of the many disappointed and dismayed when a shrill girl poked through the doorway and informed us that the auditorium was full and no one else would be allowed in, as per the fire code. ‘Fine by us,’ the crowd chanted back, ‘but what if you moved the event outside so everyone could hear and have a say in what was going on? Or perhaps the Johnson Auditorium?’ ‘No,’ she replied.

After ten minutes had passed I hoped cooler or at least smarter heads would prevail and that the SHAA would see the sense in moving the event to another place so that people wouldn’t be turned away. Alas, the ineptitude to plan even one step ahead was as shocking as it was frustrating. A group of college students didn’t wonder what would happen if people showed up to their event in large numbers? I can only assume that nothing intelligent was being said within those doors, for there certainly was no sense on display outside of them. ‘There will be another debate next semester,’ she promised, ‘and there will be videos of this debate on YouTube and on a website.’ Yes, because that’s exactly the same thing as being there.

Once more we implored the SHAA to move the event outside to the convenient mall area – what a hardship it must be for people to walk! – but she scolded us and told us that the ‘Moderator’ had began the debate and nothing would interrupt it. People couldn’t be asked to stand up and walk a brief two minutes so that everyone could see and hear and think about what was going on? A moderator couldn’t pause a debate and then begin it again two minutes later? The SHAA did not even show the slightest bit of effort to involve those standing out in the cold. I suppose that colleges aren’t a place for the free exchange of ideas and the expression of thought by all who wish to… well, maybe only this one.

-Alex Barton

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