On Thursday, March 31, Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship (RIPPAC) held its annual April Fool’s eve mock debate. The debate: Which is more American: the eagle or turkey?
All students, faculty and family were invited to the event. Admission was free but guests were encouraged to bring non-perishable food products and/or personal hygiene products to make donations to The SHOP, Rowan’s food pantry for students.
Dr. Whitney Cox, lecturer for the Department of World Religions, and Alex Micharski, a senior computer science major, represented the eagle.
Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, professor of Paleontology and Geology and founding dean of the School of Earth & Environment, and Katie Driscoll, a senior biomedical engineering major, represented turkey.
Representatives were introduced by Dr. Benjamin Dworkin, founding director of RIPPAC and lecturer for the Department of Political Science, who also hosted the event.
Each team presented creative PowerPoints demonstrating why their bird was more American.
From eagles with pirate hats to claims that “turkeys are more awesome,” the mock debate was filled with much laughter and lots of smiles.
The crowd was encouraged to hold up their signs, flashing the side that either read “TEAM EAGLE” or “TEAM TURKEY” to show their support.
William Kaminer, a sophomore political science major, is team turkey.
“I am very pro turkey. Turkey stands for America and freedom which is good. Go turkey,” Kaminer said.
Another team turkey supporter, Nick Dannenfelser. Dannenfelser is a junior political science major.
“I came in here team turkey tonight. I thought that the eagle team had fairly strong arguments but I came in here turkey and stayed turkey the whole time. I think the turkey is a gorgeous bird. You know, I want to say go birds. I have to say as a South Jersey Eagles fan, we have a lot of love for them but tonight was all about the turkey,” Dannenfelser said.
Members at the event were persuaded to tweet and post #EAGLETURKEY2022, #TEAMEAGLE, and/or #TEAMTURKEY to all social media platforms. Dworkin wanted to become trending on all social media platforms, especially Twitter.
Trevor Jedwabnik is a junior political science major, also team turkey.
“Absolutely hilarious evening. I was team turkey, personally. I’m a North Jersey man. It would be a very bad day if I ever root for the Eagles. I came to volunteer because I am very good friends with Dr. Dworkin. He, as with every RIPPAC kid, is phenomenal. I will admit, at first, I was like this is probably going to have a handful of kids. This was actually a very fun event and I definitely will be coming next year,” Jedwabnik said.
Lacovara, team turkey, gave his final thoughts before ending the night.
“Turkeys are more like T-Rex. Really, what’s more American than T-Rex? Also, what’s more awesome than a T-Rex? So when you think about awesomeness, United States of America, turkeys and T-Rexes are all the same,” Lacovara said.
Concluding the night, members were asked to shout and clap for the teams they supported. In the end, team turkey won the mock debate.
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