Debate Topic / First Thoughts

My debate topic is about whether we as a country should keep the electoral college or abolish it. My assigned position is to argue that we should keep the electoral college as a part of our political system. This is the polar opposite of my actual position regarding this debate. Prior to research, I already knew that the electoral college was outlined in our Constitution and has been in effect since. It essentially was originally designed to prevent presidents being elected by an uninformed population. Instead, the people would elect a certain member of the electoral college based on whether they would put their electoral vote for a certain candidate. The electoral college would then vote on the presidential candidates and whichever candidate won above a certain number of electoral votes would then be President. I disagree with this because the reasoning this system is based on is no longer relevant to the US anymore. A google search brings up information about it, how many times attempts to remove it has failed, and why certain majorities see it as an advantage they can use to secure political power (predominantly Republican and swing states). Because I am to argue for keeping the electoral college, one logical approach I can use is that there is a better certain outcome because it is less likely for people to dispute the outcome of an electoral vote in contrast to a purely popular vote. There are some ethical issues surrounding this topic, but all the ones I have found (example: electors being pressured to vote one way or another against their own conscience) help the side I am against in this debate. Perhaps more research will turn up a few that will aid me? This can become a heavily emotional debate for many reasons. People tend to have strong opinions regarding this because it affects their power as a state (republican vs democratic, also swing states). Others get emotional about this because they blame the system for how the outcome came out.  But the biggest reason is how it affects their representation. As I think of it, the president is meant to be a president for all the people, not for a select 538.

Image from Quickmeme

Changes

My school year so far has been OK. Not outstanding, but not bad either. I expect that to change now though because today is the first day of drama (AKA: craziness). I would like to better plan out my time, particularly my sleep schedule around drama, work, and school. Last year, I definitely did not get enough sleep and I would like to avoid that this year as it is very unpleasant to walk around in a constant state of exhaustion. This week, I intend to start looking at my schedule and try to plan it out so that it can be the most efficient and healthy for me. Something that could unravel that plan is unexpected schedule changes like cancellations and reschedulings, snow, and ability to get a ride to where I need to go (until I get my license).

Speaking of lack of sleep, the issue that I am interested in evaluating deeper is the issue of school start times. People are becoming more and more aware of the problem of chronic sleep deprivation among teens. Studies have shown that a teenager needs an average of 8 to 10 hours to function properly, but most fail to come close to this number. Teenagers are stuck with enduring many biological changes, including how they sleep and how their bodies react with sleep. They are hardwired to get tired later in the day and consequently sleep later in the day. When schools start earlier than 8:30, it becomes very difficult to find time to get the sleep necessary. A later start time would help promote proper sleep schedules and be beneficial to the student academically, emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially.

Some parents are not so keen on this proposal to have school start and end later in the day. They feel that this will interfere with after-school activities such as sports and eating times. If the school day starts an hour later, it also ends an hour later. This, in turn, will push back sports practices and make it harder for the parent to adjust meal times and pickup times.

I side with pushing school start times to a later time because I feel that the student’s overall health is more important than convenience. As a sleep-deprived student, I can say first-hand that it isn’t healthy trying to take tests on 6 hours or less of sleep. While the other side has some valid concerns, I think they are not nearly as important as the overall health of the teenage population.

Image from The Marshfield Times