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Posts under tag: Student events

March 11, 2014

Spanish Major Liz Fetherston wins top collegiate debating prize

My Spanish major has helped me engage in competitive debate at a high level, because of its obvious focus on cultural knowledge, historical context, and interrogating the efficacy and necessity of United States hegemony in its various manifestations. In debate, I’ve found this to be extremely important in discussions of US domestic policy, in terms of immigration, and US foreign policy, in terms of neocolonialist expansion and development.

The classes I’ve taken as a part of my degree have fostered this critical engagement with a given topic. Learning the material in a second language not only expanded my knowledge base, but also the very process of language learning is beneficial for my reasoning and problem solving skills. Speaking another language forces you to come up with novel ways to get your point across, which is a very useful skill in debate.

For instance, arguments that interrogate the underlying epistemic or methodological assumptions of the other team’s arguments have become central to the style of debate that I most frequently engage in. My senior year in particular, I’ve tried to use my debate rounds as an activist space not just in terms of policy deliberations, but also to criticize the structures that govern the debate activity itself in an attempt to open the space to new kinds of knowledge and methods of politics.
This same process of critically examining an argument or text has been foundational to many of the classes I’ve taken as an undergraduate, and I’ve been encouraged in that space as well to be an activist and speak out about what I see as constructive or problematic in the material we discuss.

I want to use my degree and the skills I’ve learned to complete a masters program in education. I want to use my role as an educator to create the kind of classroom that empowers students in the same way I’ve felt empowered by competitive debate and by my undergraduate studies. – Liz Fetherston.

Tim Christie reports on the impressive success of Liz Fetherston. This is one of the many skills enhanced by learning another language and immersing in the study of the human sciences. See this piece from the Celebrating Champions page.

Liz Fetherston, a senior majoring in Spanish, was named best individual debater at one of the largest and most prestigious events in college parliamentary debate. Competing at the Mile High Swing Tournament against more than 200 students from 35 universities, including 22 of the top 25 college parliamentary debate teams, Fetherston and took home the top individual prize. And she’s got the big glass trophy to prove it.

February 18, 2014

Carnevale 2014, February 17th-21st

French, Italian, and Portuguese faculty from the Romance Languages Department will lead a week long series of events to celebrate Carnevale 2014.  All events will be held in the Global Scholars Hall on the University of Oregon campus.  Learn to cook French Liege Waffles!  Learn to dance the Capoeira! Watch a movie!


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