Brianna Mahoney adjusted her burgundy- and gold-striped tie as she prepared to represent her Gryffindor client, Harry Potter, in what she called “the debate of a lifetime.”
Mahoney, 19, a UF political science sophomore, defended her client against the force-filled arguments that her opponent, Dalton Verhagen, 19, a UF computer engineering sophomore, presented. Mahoney’s fiery attitude and thought-provoking questions led to Potter’s win.
UF Speech and Debate Society Intramural Team hosted a Luke Skywalker vs. Harry Potter debate Wednesday night to determine which hero would win if they were to duel.
Jon Prescott, 21, a UF engineering junior, played Skywalker, and Harris Kraus, 19, a UF chemical engineering sophomore, played Potter.
For the first time, the team required all participants to bring three cans of food to enter the debate. Attendees filled the room and acted as jurors in the trial.
The society donates the cans to Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida to help fill the backpacks of hungry children. They have donated cans for three years, said Denise Go, vice president of the team and moderator of the debate.
Go was unable to count how many cans they collected, but she said that Food4Kids would mail them a thank you letter with the total weight of the donate food.
Debaters were dressed as characters from Star Wars and Harry Potter. Darth Vader, Albus Dumbledore, Princess Leia, Hermione Granger, Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter approached the stand with confidence.
Jason Swinton played Darth Vader. The 19-year-old engineering sophomore used a broken umbrella handle and wrapped it in red, green and purple string to represent Skywalker’s struggle with the dark and light sides of the force.
Sparks flew and tempers flared as both clients presented their cases.
While Potter stated that Skywalker was no more than a “stick-wielding alien in pajamas,” Skywalker stood firm on his belief: “Anything magic can do, the force can do better.”
In the end, magic reigned, and Harry Potter won with only seven jurors voting against him.
UF Speech and Debate society’s intramural team conducted a Harry Potter versus Luke Skywalker debate to raise money for the Food for Kids Backpack Program. The two sides debated for 90 minutes about who would win in a fantasy duel between Skywalker and Potter. Harry Potter, Harris Kraus, won the debate, garnering all but seven votes.