GIOVARELLI WINS BLUFFTON PEACE ORATORICAL CONTEST
Bluffton University junior Rachel Giovarelli, from Wauseon, Ohio, placed first in the university’s annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest on April 6.
In addition to earning a $175 cash prize, Giovarelli qualified for a bi-national contest with top finishers from other North American Mennonite colleges. In her speech, "The Last Mile: Finding Peace without Ending Life," she urged the audience to consider biblical reasons to oppose capital punishment rather than focusing on constitutional or pragmatic grounds, such as cruel and unusual punishment or lack of deterrence. Recalling the story from John 8 about the woman caught in adultery, she asked her listeners to consider the reason Jesus gave for opposing the death penalty: no one is without sin, so no one has standing to judge another to be worthy of death. She also advocated forgiveness as a response to crime and guilt that can heal both victims and offenders.
Taking second place and $125 was Katie Wineland, a junior from Bowling Green, Ohio, who addressed "Criminal Injustice: Collateral Consequences and the Gospel of Reconciliation." Third place, and $100, went to Brandi Dominique, a first-year student from Wauseon, whose topic was "Who Said America was an Obese Country? Hunger in America."
Students in the contest give a speech of no more than 10 minutes that applies the Christian peace position to an issue of contemporary concern.
To read the 2011 speeches click here.
Bluffton public relations, 4/7/11