There are only
21st Annual Life Raft
Thursday, October 11th, 2018
Start treading water...
The Life Raft Debate
An Event that Spans Two Centuries (and two millennia)
In the Life Raft Debate, we imagine that there has
been a nuclear war, and the survivors (the audience) are setting sail to
rebuild society from the ground up. There is a group of academic-types
vying to get on the raft, and only one seat is left. Each professor has to
argue that his or her discipline is the one indispensable area of study that
the new civilization will need to flourish. At the end of the debating, the
audience votes and the lucky winner climbs aboard, waving goodbye to the
Each professor gets to give an introductory
account of his or her discipline, then give a brief rebuttal to the others,
and, finally, the audience votes all but one panelist off.
Introducing the 2018 Panel:
Courtney Bentley—Curriculum and Teaching
Scott Turner—Political Science
Emcee—Scott Varagona (not eligible for votes this time!)
The Life Raft Debate occurs each Founders' Day at 7 pm.
Live Steam the Debate!
And the Oar goes to:
The Devil's Advocate: Dr. Scott Varagona!
This may not be my most complete re-hash in LRD history, but it was hard to take notes and participate from the stage. It is never possible to capture the magic that is the Life Raft Debate in a few mere words, so please watch the video of the whole shebang on YouTube here.
Like us on FaceBook and follow us on Twitter at #UMLifeRaft!
Jay Cofield and the crew providing the video coverage
Marion Brown and her minions
Kristen Gilbert for vote counting via scantron
SGA (for funding)
Philosophy club members
All participants, past and future
And last, but not least—All the great audiences!
If you missed the debate this year, watch it here.
The Life Raft Debate on This American Life!
Save the Day
Stories about one person single-handedly taking charge of a situation gone wrong - including one man's mission to rescue two kids who were kidnapped by alleged murderers and taken to Mexico, and another about a professor's mission to keep the educators of a liberal arts college from extinction.
Download the mp3 of the Life Raft Debate segment from the This American Life episode "Save the Day" by clicking here. You can get the whole podcast episode on the This American Life home page.
This American Life will air a segment on UM’s Life Raft Debate during their episode “Save the Day,” which premiers this week. The episode will focus on the 2007 debate, during which Jon Smith scored the first-ever victory for the Devil’s Advocate.
This American Life on Facebook
Watch the FREE webcast at 7 pm sharp!
Life Raft Debate Tidbits:
|Scott Varagona is the only repeat champion (as Devil's advocate) |
||Only Mathematics has won three oars
||79% of the Champions have come from the College of Arts and Sciences
||7% have come from the College of Fine Arts
||7% have come from the Administration
||7% have been civilians
Of the participants in the 16 previous debates,
||73% of the programs of instruction at the University of Montevallo
have been represented in the Life Raft Debate.