The School of Business at the State University of New York at New Paltz held its ethical debates competition in van den Berg Hall over a three-week period in March.
Six teams of students participated in the competition and debated timely topics, including the Common Core, the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the Affordable Care Act, in front of a panel of judges. Teams had a total of 15 minutes to present their arguments and were judged on their effective use of evidence and knowledge of the topic, persuasiveness, opening and closing statements and rebuttals, language use, and performance.
“The debates provide an opportunity for the participating students to develop their critical thinking and oral communication skills,” said Chih-Yang Tsai, interim dean of the School of Business. “I commend the courage of the students who chose to take the challenge. I would also like to thank those Business Advisory Council members who served as judges for their valuable comments to the students.”
After each round of debates, the judges provided personal feedback and recommendations to the students on how to improve their public speaking and presentation skills for their future academic and personal careers. “Debate participation allows students to practice their analytical, critical thinking, and presentation skills while learning to see issues from different perspectives,” said Tom Sipos, of Hudson Valley Focus and chair of the Business Advisory Council at SUNY New Paltz. “When experienced business leaders judge and critique the debate teams, they effectively prepare students for the environment they will operate in upon graduation.”
Ying Zhan ’15, Kristen Bucki ’17, Kemorene Henry ’15, and Joelle Bracco ’15 successfully made their way through two rounds of debates and won the championship. Each student on the winning team received a $100 scholarship.
The debate competition was judged by SUNY New Paltz faculty members Professor Rief Kanan and Interim Associate Dean Sally Schultz, and local business leaders Ed Lane, Lane Asset Management; Vince Pangia, Pangia & Company, CPA’s LLC; Stephen Digilio, Morgan Stanley; Scott Hutchins, Jabil Circuit, Inc.; and Gene Moncrief, Moncrief Associates. Tom Sipos, of Hudson Valley Focus and chair of the Business Advisory Council at SUNY New Paltz, moderated the event.