Plantation Room debate open to campus

Caitlyn Oliver

The Mock Mediation Club will host a debate open to the entire campus about the new Rum Runners Plantation Room sign in the Russell Union on March 11 and 12.

“We’ve been looking at Facebook and things like that and looking at the debates on social media and we just want to provide an outlet for students to express their concerns and create a civil environment to have these discussions,” Jonathon Quintine, club member and junior international studies major, said.

The debate is open for all students on campus to join and voice their opinions in a controlled environment.

“It’s more to let [others] know what the students think. We’re just mediation so we’re neutral, we’re not taking a public stance on this. We’re not necessarily for the change, we just want to voice the student’s opinions,” Jessica Shanken, Mock Mediation Club public relations chair and sophomore international studies major, said.

The discussions will be held in three different rooms in Russell Union over two days and presided over by Mock Mediation Club members.

Club mediators will lead students to find possible solutions. These solutions will be presented to the Student Government Association so that they will have a list of recommendations to see how the student population wants to address this problem, Quintine said.

Debate processes will simulate a real mediation session and provide students with the opportunity to see both sides of the argument, Shanken said.

There is no deadline for students to apply for a part in the deliberations. A limit will not be placed on the number of students who want to join. All students will be accommodated.

“We want as many students as possible involved,” Shanken said.

Students interested in taking part must attend an information session on either Tuesday, March 4, or Wednesday, March 5. One of the two must be attended in order to participate in the debate.

“I think students can take out of this an opportunity to see from both points of view. Whatever side you come into it starting on hopefully at the end you can see it from the other side and appreciate the other side’s mindset,” Quintine said.

These sessions will explain the format of a mediation conference, what to expect and how students are required to act during discussion.

Any questions may be answered by club members who will have a table at the rotunda on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.