UBC Okanagan engineering professor Dr. Ray Taheri celebrates the win at the UBCO Society of Scholars Life Raft Debate Zombie Edition. (Photo: Andrea Marie Tan)

Engineering professor’s rhetoric wins UBC Okanagan zombie apocalypse debate

Professor Dr. Ray Taheri persuaded the audience in the fun, make-believe 2020 Life Raft Debate

How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse 101…

Not exactly a class that you can take at most universities, but at the 2020 UBC Okanagan Society of Scholars Life Raft Debate, university professors joined in a fun, academic discussion on which professor would be most valuable come an apocalypse.

Engineering professor Dr. Ray Taheri took home top honours as the best of six rhetoricians as he convinced the audience to take him along on the “last seat of a life raft” that will rebuild society after the make-believe end of the world.

Event organizer Jesse Lafontaine picked up the idea after seeing something similar done in the U.S. and thought it would be well-received amongst the UBCO faculty.

“This is a fun way to show off the strengths and weaknesses of the professors’ disciplines,” said Lafontaine.

“It allows the professors a less academic and more fun way to show off which makes for an entertaining battle of intellect.”

READ MORE: Who’s best to bring along in a zombie apocalypse? UBC Okanagan professors argue

In the second edition of the debate, Taheri argued that as a engineer he could solve all matters of problems for the surviving members of the human race specifically the best ways to supply food and water to rebuilding communities.

Dr. Taheri usurped last year’s winner Stephen McNeil, a chemistry professor.

The engineer beat out fellow debaters from the faculties of English, Human Kinetics, Education and Deputy VP Deborah Buszard, who represented university administration. There was also a devils advocate arguing that none of the six professors should be brought on the life raft also participated.

Lafontaine said that English professor Dr. Bryce Traister had a surprisingly good argument amongst the more science-orientated competitors.

“He said he’s use Moby Dick as his guide,” said Lafontaine.

“To make the end of civilization an intellectually satisfying experience.”

But Dr. Traister couldn’t out-argue Dr. Taheri as the audience of voters picked the engineer as the 2020 winner.

READ MORE: UBCO and Elizabeth Fry host panel to discuss structural change for sexual assault survivors

When Lafontaine approached UBCO about the idea of the debate, they were very supportive. After the growth that the event has seen in its second year, going from close to 200 to over 400 guests, the plans for next year’s Life Raft Debate have already started.

“Hopefully make it bigger and better,” said Lafontaine.

“The school has been incredibly supportive and we built on the success from last year to this year. Dr. Taheri will of course be back next year as defending champion and compete against different professors in a slightly different theme.”

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna Rockets blow 4-goal lead in overtime loss to Calgary

Captain Nolan Foote made a brief return as Kelowna drops Family Day matinee 6-5

Soccer legend Bob Lenarduzzi to speak about dementia in Kelowna

Lenarduzzi will speak at the inaugural Breakfast to Remember on Mar. 10

Kelowna RCMP arrest alleged impaired driver

The driver is facing potential charges after power pole collision

West Kelowna Warriors host Trail Smoke Eaters

The Warriors are coming from a Saturday loss against the Vernon Vipers

UBCO announces new top boss for Okanagan campus

Lesley Cormack will start in the position this summer

Kelowna’s Family YMCA opens doors on Family Day

The entire day was free for the community

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

South Okanagan woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

RCMP report woman arrested after ramming police cruiser

Suspect wanted for crimes allegedly committed in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and 100 Mile House

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Most Read