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25 January 2009

Debate in Second Life

The Lawrence Debate Union of the University of Vermont will be participating in the first formal academic debate conducted in a virtual online environment.

In cooperation with the St. John’s University Debate Society, LDU members will debate in the online environment Second Life on February 4th at 8:00PM ET. This is the first competitive academic debate conducted between two university debate programs within the Second Life environment.

The debate will be held on Emgeetee Island, a series of virtual classrooms created and maintained by Dr. Charles Wankel, Associate Professor of Management in the Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University.

The debate will feature four debaters and will be on the topic of limiting tenure for University faculty. At the end of the debate, judgment and critique by debating experts will follow, and then the floor will be open for comments and questions from the virtual audience.

Attending the debate is as easy as establishing an account and downloading the Second Life software, which is available at Those unfamiliar with the Second Life environment are encouraged to spend time becoming familiar with the program before the date of the debate.

For those already established in Second Life, the SURL for the debate is

Clicking on the link will transport you to the debate venue where you will be able to see and hear the debate live if you have the Second Life software installed.

Contact Alfred Snider at or Steve Llano at

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