Whitney Ervin, Correspondent
Jacksonville State University’s political science debate team is teaming with Chick-Fil-A to raise money to attend Model Arab League (MAL) this spring. The conference will take place in Spartanburg, South Carolina on March 18-20. This is an exciting opportunity for political science students, especially those who are interested in diplomacy and foreign policy.
The debate team is raising money through Chick-Fil-A to help pay for travel and lodging while they’re at the conference. On March 7, there will be a spirit night at Chick-Fil-A and all mobile orders that have the words “Political Science Debate Team ” will have a percentage of their total donated to the team.
MAL is a conference in which students participate in a mock meeting between the League of Arab States. This offers the unique opportunity to experience how a large council consisting of multiple countries approaches its work. The League of Arab States is a regional political organization predating the United Nations, with the same goal of settling diplomatic matters and disputes peacefully. Each participating school represents a country from the League of Arab States and decides how to handle certain topics brought up during the conference.
JSU has participated in MAL since 1999, making the school one of the longest-running participants in the South East Regional MAL.
The president of the debate team, Benjamin Marazzi, spoke with The Chanticleer a bit about the conference and the preparation process.
“The goal is to approach these decisions the way the country you’re representing would approach them,” Marazzi said.
With this in mind, the team gathers information about the country they’re representing. They study how the country they’re representing voted on certain issues in past councils as well as the country’s current policies on issues that could be presented during the council. Not only is it an excellent opportunity to learn more about foreign policy, but students also hone leadership and problem-solving skills.
The JSU debate team has been working hard to prepare for the conference. They began in the winter of 2022 gathering information about the possible countries they could represent for the MAL. Since then, they’ve decided to represent the country of Jordan. The team meets to study and prepare for the conference.
The skills learned during the conference will benefit these students going forward in their careers. If you need an excuse to eat Chick-Fil-A on Monday night, there’s no better reason than to support the debate team.