Student Podcast Debates “Are Birds Real?”

By: Elizabeth Pruitt

As podcasts grow in popularity, it is not surprising that some creative Spring Arbor University (SAU) students have begun to create their own. One of these student-produced podcasts is Seth Gorveatte and Kyle Koerner’s Big Brain Time Debate Podcast. The podcast, which features a rotation of five hosts and guest hosts, centers around semi-seriously debating frivolous topics. Some topics they debated include pineapple on pizza, the morality of the campus squirrels, and if cyclops wink or blink.

The hosts of Big Brain Time Podcast encourage first-time listeners to listen to this episode, which debates if birds are actually government spy drones.

The regular hosts of the podcast are SAU students Seth Gorveatte, Kyle Koerner, and Ira Thiessen, as well as former SAU students Joey Sass and Jared Boekenhauer. As a way to breathe new life into the podcast, guest hosts have been invited to participate in these debates. So far, SAU alumni Luke Richardson and Liz Pence have made appearances. 

Big Brain Time Debate Podcast started as a creative outlet for Gorveatte. 

“A little over a year ago, I was frustrated that I wasn’t making anything outside of class. I just didn’t feel like I could commit to some new project, but it felt wrong to only do what classes required,” said Gorveatte. 

After a lengthy debate over Star Wars with his friends, Gorveatte realized how easy it would be to record and edit these debates for other people to listen to. This idea resulted in their first episode: Is Jar Jar Binks a Good Character? Quite a few of their episodes revolve around film and other pop culture references.

“I find pop culture’s impact on people really interesting,” said Gorveatte. “Like, movies like Star Wars become centerpieces of weird college conversations, but what are these movies even about? “The Force”? And which movies become popular can be such a random thing. I think that’s why I like these debates. They expose some sort of endearing absurdity about how humans interact with the imagination.”

The Big Brain Time Podcast logo.

“Are BIRDS government SPY Drones?” is the first Big Brain Time Podcast to feature a video, as Gorveatte is attending SAU remotely from Canada. The hosts recommend first-time listeners begin with this episode, as it is a perfect mixture of an absurd topic and semi-serious debate. 

Gorveatte does all the editing and social media management for the podcast. While the project is mostly for fun, the experience has helped him gain valuable career skills.

“It’s been a good experience because I currently intern doing social media-content creation for a local business,” said Gorveatte. “The same principles from running the podcast often apply to real companies, so this has been a good introduction. I’d recommend people who want to work in media make something like this. My only word of advice would be to not take it too seriously. Make it simple so you don’t find yourself dreading the extra work. Don’t be disappointed if people don’t listen.”

Big Brain Time Podcast is currently available to listen to on their YouTube channel, linked here. You can also follow them on their Twitter, linked here


Have a podcast, YouTube channel, Instagram, small business, blog, or any other media project you’d like highlighted in The Pulse? Contact Elizabeth Pruitt at elizabeth.pruitt@arbor.edu