[PAST EVENT] Raft Debate - A W&M Tradition
LocationPhi Beta Kappa (PBK) Memorial Hall
601 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
The 2016 Raft Debate will be held on Monday, October 3, at 6:30 p.m. in PBK Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Described as a "delicate balance of comedy and lecture," the annual Raft Debate features four W&M faculty members from diverse disciplines, stranded on a desolate island with only a one-person life raft for escape to civilization. Which faculty member should survive for the sake of humanity? Based on the volume of applause, the audience chooses the sole survivor as the professors cajole, plead, pontificate and resort shamelessly to props and costumes.
The quirky event originated in the mid-1900s and was revived during the 2000s by the Graduate Center, the A&S Office of Graduate Studies and Research, and the A&S Graduate Student Association. Faculty participants represent the Humanities (Elena Prokhorova), the Social Sciences (Marcus Holmes), or the Natural and Computational Sciences (Rowan Lockwood). The Devil's Advocate (Ryan Vinroot), who argues sarcastically that none of the academic disciplines are worth saving, has on rare occasion emerged victoriously.