David Mair, News Editor

The Pacific Lutheran University Debate team is gearing up for one of their biggest debates yet: something facing voters in the next election.

The annual Ruth Anderson Debate’s timing correlates with Tacoma Initiative 1, so this year, students will debate from both sides of a current, relevant topic on ballots in the upcoming election.

Tacoma Initiative 1 aims to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15/hr for any business with a gross income of more than $300,000.

The debate will be held Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. in Xavier room 201.

They will debate over the Tacoma Initiative 1.

If the initiative passes, it will immediately impose a 15 dollar wage raise for any business with a gross income more than 300,000. In addition, there will be cost of living adjustments.

Students debating for Pacific Lutheran University will be senior Angie Tinker and sophomore Matt Aust.

“The air around $15 minimum wage is electrically charged; it’s an honor to debate in that kind of atmosphere,” junior Matt Aust said.

“Debating about what’s on the ballot just makes sense,” senior Angie Tinker said.
The duo will debate with representatives from the Tacoma community including Tom Pierson, CEO of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce and Vince Kueter, an activist for 15NOW.

15NOW is a “collective ofworking-class Tacomans, low-wage workers, retired people, community activists, religious activists, labor activists, and friends fighting for a $15/hour minimum wage in our city.”

The Ruth Anderson Debates started three years ago when Dr. Justin Eckstein joined the PLU family. Eckstein said he created the debate because he likes to bring in experts with public concerns to debate with students.

“I want people to know that we [the speech and debate team] are more than just an intercollegiate competition,” said Eckstein, director of forensics.

For Eckstein, the debate started as an “opportunity” to shape PLU and he hopes students who attend will listen to both sides and become better informed to vote in the upcoming election.

Students can take what they hear and learn from the debate to the ballots Nov. 3.

For more information on the debate and how to be involved in T.O.H. Karl Forensics contact Dr. Justin Eckstein at ecksteja@plu.edu. ◼︎

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