Last night, September 11th, the Regis community joined together to celebrate the opening of the new School of Business and Communication with #DeHateDebate in the Fine Arts Center. Dehate the Debate was sponsored by The MetroWest Daily News and Wicked Local. The event included a forty-five minute panel discussion and was followed by questions and answers at the end.
The night began with Regis president, Dr. Antoinette M. Hays, welcoming the audience to the event. Dr. Hays then made sure to make a tribute to the victims of 9/11 since today marked the 16th anniversary. She also made sure to pray for the victims of the hurricanes that affected people all over the world. Then Dr. Hays talked about how far Regis has come, especially with the new addition to the university with the new School of Business and Communications. The whole purpose of tonight’s event was to celebrate the opening of the School of Business and Communications at Regis as well as provide an opportunity to learn how to disagree with respect as a community.
Dr. Hays stated, “Our goal is to one day lead the conversation by coming together to continue the conversation.” This event served as a way to talk about the recent Presidential election without having a biased opinion or uncomfortable confrontation between opposing views.
The panel included individuals involved leaders in politics and the media. The individuals included: Janet Wu, the moderator and WCVB Political Reporter; Newton Mayor Setti Warren, who is also a candidate for governor of Massachusetts; Tom O’Neill III, former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor and CEO of O;Neill and Associates; Dan Lothian, former CNN White House correspondent, owner of Little Park Media; Anne Brennan, Managing Editor of the MetroWest Daily News; and Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy.
The panelists were asked questions in regards to President Donald Trump, the media and it’s influence with society, free speech versus hate speech, and how to disagree with someone without disrespect.
There was a wonderful turnout of Regis students of all ages, faculty members, and even people from neighboring towns. The Fine Arts Center was packed with members of various different sports teams as well.
The floor was then given to the audience to ask questions to the panelists and I made sure that I was the first to ask a question. I asked, “People nowadays are so disgusted with the media and how each side says one thing and the other side then says another. How can people learn to trust the media again and get the factual information they desire?”
The panelists responded with the fact that their jobs are to give us the information they find. It is up to the audience to further investigate the information that has been given through fact checking and exploring other mediums of the media. The panelists also talked about the importance of being open minded in researching and learning more about what is going on in society. Don’t just pay attention to one side’s argument, make sure to explore other media networks and their views on the matter. Then continue to explore your research further.
The audience continued to ask questions in regards to politics, the media, and advice on how to continue to stand up for what you believe in while being respectful.
This event explored the various controversial topics within today’s society. Democrats and Republicans both came together tonight to discuss in a respectful manner the nature of the controversy of recent events. This discussion didn’t divide the sides further, but instead brought us closer together.