University of Pittsburgh
November 15, 2001

University of Pittsburgh Students to Participate in Nov. 18 "National Debate-In" on the Issues Surrounding September 11th and Its Aftermath

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH––Eight students from the University of Pittsburgh will join more than 170 top-ranked intercollegiate debate teams from across the nation for "The National Debate-In" on issues pertaining to September 11th and its aftermath at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, on the Wake Forest University campus in Winston-Salem, N.C. Audience members will choose from a program of some 26 public debates, each focusing on a distinct topic, among them civil liberties, the causes of terrorism, diplomatic versus military solutions, arms control, and war rhetoric.

According to Wake Forest University debate coaches Ross Smith and Allan Louden, the idea for the event springs from "the national intercollegiate debate community's observation that while the media churn out volumes of information, panels of experts weigh in with their opinions, and discussion forums are held, debates are a uniquely valuable vehicle for civic engagement. At a moment in history that demands the best of our democracy, it is essential that proposed answers to the questions raised by September 11th be subjected to careful, critical analysis."

University of Pittsburgh students scheduled to debate are Omri Ceren, a senior communication major in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) from Ontario, Calif.; Lisa Heller, a first-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences from Brookfield, Mass.; Peter Klein, a junior in CAS from Pittsburgh; Joseph Koehle, a freshman in CAS from Pittsburgh; Jason Lawrence, a sophomore political science and philosophy major in CAS from Muscatine, Ia.; Denise Olczak, a senior business major in CAS from East Greenville, Pa.; Tony Todero, a junior political science and philosophy major in CAS from Omaha, Neb.; and Adam Webber, a sophomore business major in CAS from Massillon, Oh.

For more information, phone Gordon Mitchell at the William Pitt Debating Union, 412-624-8531; or email

For a complete slate of the debates, visit the following Internet Web site: