It is important to note that no great achievement is done alone. Thankfully, the ASB Director of Communications Cortez Moss, who I proposed this project to, is an old friend of mine from the band program and the opportunity never could have happened if not for his faith in what this project could accomplish. I submitted the proposal during the first week of August. By the second week, it was approved and the real work had begun.
Creating a Debate
From there I worked with Cortez's assistant and now my close friend, Jajuan McNeil, to secure that this project would be one that both ASB and SPJ could be proud to be associated with. Throughout the fall semester I worked with Jajuan, as well as my incredible SPJ officer team and adviser to begin putting together the debate process.
The first goal was to decide the format for the debate. For this I used my previous research to work with the team on deciding the number of questions to be asked and the time frames for each question. After many drafts, a final format was set into place. Meeting discussions were focused around establishing the roles each of the officers would play in preparing for the debate as well as the creation of an official logo for the event. During these meetings, we also developed an application process to decide on the moderator for the debates.
By the end of the fall semester, the debate process was ready for the communication stage.
During the winter break, I began working on more in-depth details to the event, including the floor plan of Campaign Alley, designing the logo based on meeting discussions, and the debate slide show.
The Slide Show
Prior to the beginning of the debate, I designed a set of slides using Power Point to help build audience anticipation as they waited for the debate to begin. The slides were programmed to start 22 minutes before the beginning of the debate. The public was allowed in the auditorium 15 minutes before the debate started. As they walked in, the debate audience was welcomed by a strategic selection of songs including "Stand Out" by Powerline, "If You're Out There" by John Legend, "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson, and "We're Coming Down" by Peter Gabriel.
On the auditorium's main screen, a series of slides showing images of the Overby Center would cycle through each song. Each image would lead further into the Center, starting from the outside until the last image inside the auditorium. As each of these background images cycled through the slides, the debate logo remained constantly fixed in the center of the screen. Once the final song ended, the university alma mater began playing and the background behind the logo dissolved into the image of a curtain. As the lights began to dim, the moderator walked out into the middle of the stage. When the song ended, the debate began.
Whether I have read too far into the cinematic techniques of Walt Disney is disputable but each element of the slide show served a very effective purpose, furthering a more professional debate experience.