Event | Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison

Moreau College Initiative Debate Team Defeated University of Notre Dame

MCI debate team student Marcus Winphrie receiving his Associates Degree in 2019

 NOTRE DAME, IN (February 26, 2020) — The Moreau College Initiative (MCI) Debate Team faced off against the University of Notre Dame Debate Team and won! Held at the Westville Correctional Facility, MCI’s three top debaters, backed by four other team researchers, went head to head with the Notre Dame team. The debate resolution was “The illegal use of drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health not of criminal justice,” and the MCI team researched the question for months to prepare for the debate and argued in the affirmative.

Joining the teams were MCI Debate Team coach and faculty member Dr. Ellen Kyes and University of Notre Dame Debate Team coach and law student Lenora Popken.  The judges included staff and faculty from the University of Notre Dame and MCI, a Notre Dame Law School alumnus, and a retired judge who listened to and scored the debate.

The Moreau College Initiative (MCI) is an academic program offered by Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame, in collaboration with the Indiana Department of Corrections. Enrolled students are incarcerated men at Westville Correctional Facility who earn Holy Cross College credits towards an Associate of Arts (AA) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree program. Classes are taught by Holy Cross and University of Notre Dame faculty.

Founded by the Brothers of Holy Cross in 1966, Holy Cross College is a distinctly Catholic, residential liberal arts college based in the tri-campus of Notre Dame, Indiana. The core curriculum, designed to form students as scholars, citizens, leaders, and disciples, is driven by an expert faculty and offers rigorous academics, service learning, internships and studies abroad within the Catholic intellectual tradition. Students prepare for meaningful careers while earning traditional bachelor’s degrees, accelerated three-year degrees, associate of arts degrees and participate in the Gateway Program through partnership with the University of Notre Dame.


 

NOTRE DAME, IN (February 19, 2020) — The inaugural Moreau College Initiative (MCI) Debate Team is set to face the University of Notre Dame Debate Team February 25, at the Westville Correctional Facility.  MCI’s three top debaters, backed by four other team researchers, will go head to head with Notre Dame team.

The debate resolution is “The illegal use of drugs ought to be treated as a matter of public health not of criminal justice.”

Formed in the summer of 2019, the MCI team researched the question for months and is excited to encounter the University of Notre Dame Debate Team members.

Joining the teams are MCI Debate Team coach and faculty member Dr. Ellen Kyes and University of Notre Dame Debate Team coach and law student Lenora Popken.  A slate of judges, including staff and faculty from the University of Notre Dame and MCI, a Notre Dame Law School alumnus, and a retired judge, will listen to and score the debate.

Marcus Winphrie, one of the MCI debaters, is looking forward to testing his skills against his opponents and “using [my] personal experiences together with my school work and research to see how well we can do.”

Two years ago, Kyes taught a course in debate at MCI and discovered that the MCI students possessed a lot of debate talent supported by their analytical abilities and critical thinking skills. The students in the class have gone on to use their skills in future classes and back at home in work and school settings. “Debate teaches countless lessons for life and looks good on a resume,” said Kyes about why she brought debate to Westville Correctional Facility.

 

MCI is a member of BPI’s Consortium For the Liberal Arts in Prison. Learn more about the Moreau College Initiative here.