Again the professors won – Retrospection on ZEIT DEBATTEN evening in Jena

Datum: Nov 17th, 2010
Category: News of debating clubs, Themen

On 4 November, the Debattiergesellschaft Jena (DGJ) organised its annual ZEIT DEBATTEN evening, which is a public debating contest between students and professors. In the last years, the exhibition debate that is generously supported by the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT had inspired a lot of spectators and made them familiar with debating in general. This year the team of professors consisted of Eberhard Eichenhofer (Law), Alfred Fahr (Biology/Pharmaceutics) and Andreas Freytag (Economics). Speaking for DGJ were Clemens Lechner, Friederike Meyer zu Wendischhoff and Jonathan Scholbach – Clemens being a German Debating Championship finalist of three times, Friederike and Jonathan finalists at the kick-off into the current ZEIT DEBATTEN series at Greifswald. The venue of the DGJ event was Auditorium 3 of Friedrich Schiller University (FSU). That’s all about the hard criteria, which already let hope for a very nice evening.

Benjamin Finger, president of DGJ, explains the format of the debate to the audience. (Photographer: Martin Pötzsch)

On the evening of 4 November, more than 200 students flocked to the auditorium. The atmosphere before the debate was as usual – laughing, chatting and skimming through DIE ZEIT – so even the soft criteria seemed to be right. After a brief address by Benjamin Finger, president of DGJ, the motion to debate had to be chosen. With thunderous applause, the audience picked the question: “Should we open the borders of Europe?“ During the preparation time for the speakers, the rules of debating and the DGJ were introduced. The audience was already in a really good mood. The typical animation of the speakers also made sure that there was laughter. The real highlight of the evening happened during the debate.

The team of DGJ started with accurate examples. They said Europe would partition itself from the rest of the world and protects its borders too hard. Actually one should see free immigration as enrichment and not trust in such restrictive politics like Kant. With charm and esprit the professors responded that even Kant didn’t plead for open borders and that the existing legislation is responsible for the current conditions. Even the skill shortage will face the Blue Card soon and open borders without restrictions don’t help anyone. All in all it was a very interesting debate which has been loosened up by questions of the audience. In the end the good-humored audience chose the professors to be the winners of the debate. So the professors of FSU won again like in the year before.

What the hard criteria supposed in the first place had come true: It was a great amusement for everyone to experience this evening.

Benjamin Finger / vro / glx / apf

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