Fullerton College’s One Book, One College series partnered up together with the communications studies department & english department and held a refugee policy debate last Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 based off the book “Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid.
The debate on refugee policy pertained to the Syrian refugee crisis. This situation is a result of the civil war happening in Syria.
English professor Samantha Krag began the debate by providing the audience with background information about the characters and plot from “Exit West”.
“It’s really nice to have read that section of the book to personalize and humanize it. And really think about what it means for a person to live in civil war or what it means for a refugee to be in a new place,” said professor Krag.
Germaine Baltazar, a student on the speech and debate team, presented for the affirmative position on the resolution if the U.S government should substantially increase the number of refugees admitted to the United States.
Associated Student President, Joshua Kazarian represented the negative side of this refugee policy proposed.
Baltazar started the debate firing quickly through her speech by citing sources from The New York Times and CNN. He had mentioned the staggering statistic of over 400,000 Syrian lives being lost. As a result, she called for an adoption of the open door policy and further U.S involvement of protecting Syrian refugees.
Kazarian’s main point from his speech consisted of the fiscal cost U.S taxpayers would burden. He mentioned how helping one Syrian refugee relocate to the United States to stay for five years would cost roughly $65,000. In addition, Kazarian presented a poll conducted by the Associated Press on how unfavorable Americans felt on in letting Syrian refugees come into the U.S.
“I thought the negative side won because when you have the last say to pick at the argument, I thought it had really helped him. His policies made sense when he introduced the concept of a good economy and acceptance,” stated computer science student, Justin Oh.
Both speakers were given an additional opportunity to address their opponent’s arguments and to further argue any final key points they wanted the audience to digest.
“I thought it was interesting, both of them brought a good sense of understanding what’s happening about the Syrian Crisis. I thought the negative side won because he proposed better solutions. He also provided more statistics and information, instead of an appealing reason of which the affirmative presented,” said mechanical engineer student Hector Rangel, regarding on who he thought won the debate.
Fullerton College’s One Book, One College will hold another debate on Tuesday, Oct. 2 about Border Talk.