Public Debates

The Rutgers University Debate Union holds and sponsors several public debates and events each year to promote discourse and discussion of topical current events. If you are interested in working with RUDU on a public debate, please contact Coach Storey Clayton.


UPCOMING EVENTS

RUSA Debate on Condoleezza Rice as 2014 Commencement Speaker
On Thursday, March 27th, at 7:30 PM, six RUDU debaters will meet in a 3-on-3 debate for the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) on whether Condoleezza Rice should be withdrawn as the 2014 Commencement Speaker at Rutgers. The debate will be held at the opening of the RUSA Meeting that evening and will be immediately followed by a Q&A session and then a vote by RUSA on the resolution debated. This debate will take place in the Student Activities Center (SAC) on the College Avenue campus.

Rutgers Day
RUDU will return to Rutgers Day in 2014, this year on the Busch Campus on Saturday, April 26th, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Activities will include the chance to debate against RUDU and/or have RUDU briefly debate the pros and cons of your favorite topic!


There’s still a bit of room on our slate of public debates in Spring 2014! If you would like to coordinate a debate event, please contact Coach Storey Clayton at storey.clayton@rutgers.edu.


PAST EVENTS

Project Civility Debates
On October 5, 2010, four RUDU debaters faced each other in a public debate on the topic of civility among college students, in conjunction with Rutgers’ new Project Civility. A second Project Civility debate was held on April 27, 2011 and involved Rutgers faculty and the Rutgers-Newark policy debate team as well as RUDU members. A third Project Civility debate was held on September 21, 2011 and involved four RUDU members discussing the practice of marginalized groups reclaiming words traditionally used against them. A fourth Project Civility debate, also involving Rutgers-Newark, was held on April 11, 2012 and discussed the validity of the practice of “covering” one’s identity, based on Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights by Kenji Yoshino.

Transatlantic Debates
On November 29, 2010, RUDU debaters faced the Rutgers Model United Nations team in a debate sponsored by the Transatlantic Climate Bridge about the development of renewable sources of energy. On December 10, 2012, RUDU again faced Rutgers MUN (Rutgers University Association of International Relations [RUAIR]) on various issues of US-German cooperation and the future of NATO. On March 10, 2014, RUDU faced RUAIR in a third German Embassy debate about whether the future will see a more European Germany or a more European Germany. Rutgers Mock Trial and IDIA also participated in the four-team event. RUDU won the final round against RUAIR on the topic of whether Germany should continue to bail out Greece.

Vegetarianism Debates
On December 1, 2010 Bruce Friedrich, Vice President of Policy for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) came to Rutgers to face two RUDU debaters on the ethics of eating meat. On March 13, 2013, four RUDU debaters reprised this debate, this time representing both sides in an event co-sponsored by the Rutgers University Vegetarian Society.

King’s/Queen’s Debates
On April 29, 2011, RUDU joined the Columbia University Parliamentary Debate Society to revive a centuries-old tradition from the earliest days of both Rutgers and Columbia, when they were Queen’s and King’s Colleges, respectively. The first King’s/Queen’s Debate in many years, hosted at Columbia, discussed the release of prisoners convicted under repealed laws and is the first of many planned annual debates.

Rutgers Day Debates
On April 30, 2011, RUDU held three debates as part of Rutgers Day festivities. These debates discussed foreign policy in the Middle East, green energy, and gender-neutral student housing at Rutgers.

Poster for the third annual Constitution Day Debate held on September 18, 2013.

Poster for the third annual Constitution Day Debate held on September 18, 2013.

Constitution Day Debates
On September 19, 2011, RUDU held a public debate to discuss whether the Constitution ought be amended to include a right to a free college education. All four participants were RUDU members and the audience voted at the end, agreeing that the affirming (Government) team had won the round. The second annual Constitution Day Debate was held on September 24, 2012. Four RUDU members debated on the topic of whether the US states should call for a Constitutional Convention to discuss the role of money in political campaigns. A one-vote margin of a vote of those in attendance decided for the negative (Opposition) team. The third annual Constitution Day Debate was held on September 18, 2013. Four RUDU members debated whether the United States should close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. About 100 people attended and the final vote was 45-40 in favor of the Government team, arguing in favor of closing Gitmo.

Trenton Central High School Debate
On December 15, 2011, RUDU defeated Trenton Central High School in a large public debate on morality and when it is acceptable to kill innocent people to save more lives. Trenton Mayor Tony F. Mack and several other noted community figures were on hand.

Presidential Debate Watch Party/Analysis
On October 22, 2012, RUDU hosted a party with analysis to discuss the third of the United States presidential election debates, 2012. Four RUDU speakers previewed the debate and answered questions after from an audience of over 100 Rutgers students.

Point Pleasant Borough High School Debates
On October 25, 2012, four RUDU debaters went to demonstrate parliamentary debate for Point Pleasant Borough High School in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. The debates were attended by students of Ms. Stefanie Garguilo’s two sections of debate class, newly offered this year at the high school. Two rounds were held, one for each class. On April 23, 2013, the team returned with four participants for another two debates, one for each class.

Climate Change Divestment Debate
On February 6, 2013, four RUDU debaters paired up with two faculty to debate whether Rutgers ought divest from fossil fuel companies to combat climate change. Each team consisted of two RUDU debaters and one faculty member and the event was attended by nearly 200 students and faculty.

Globe-Med Persuasion Seminar
On February 19, 2013, four RUDU debaters did a brief demonstration round for a meeting of Globe-Med’s Rutgers chapter, followed by a 40-minute seminar on persuasion with non-profits and potential donors by Coach Clayton. This is one of the first official community service events conducted by RUDU.

Class Wish Education Debate
On March 5, 2013, four RUDU debaters did back-to-back one-on-one rounds on education policy for ClassWish Rutgers. The topics discussed were whether tenure in the public school system is good for students and whether art, music, and drama classes are necessary for K-12 education.

UMDNJ/RWJS Healthcare Debates
On April 8, 2013, four RUDU debaters conducted a short round on whether it was ethical to ration some healthcare procedures for some in order to ensure more expansive access to healthcare for all. About fifty University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) students at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) attended the event. UMDNJ merged to become Rutgers Medical School next year.

On October 8th, the second semesterly Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) Debate featured four RUDU debaters discussing whether all patients should be asked their sexual orientation at admitting or registration to be included in their permanent health record.

SC&I Public Speaking Contest
On May 4, 2013, RUDU co-sponsored the Public Speaking Contest, the first held in many years at Rutgers, for students who have taken the Communication school’s Public Speaking course (COMM 380). Coach Storey Clayton and Assistant Coach Chris Baia, who teaches COMM 380, were among the judges, and two RUDU debaters were among the participants.

Nutrition Debate
On October 14, 2013, the Nutrition Debate will feature four RUDU debaters and two faculty members discussing whether New Jersey should implement a penny-a-gram tax on added sugar in beverages to combat obesity.

SC&I Free Speech Week Debate
On October 23, 2013, four RUDU debaters participated in the Free Speech Week Debate discussing whether the United States should pardon Edward Snowden for leaking information about the NSA surveillance programs. The event was hosted and co-sponsored by the School of Communication & Information (SC&I).

BPSA Debate
On March 12, 2013, four RUDU debaters faced off for the Bloustein Public Service Association (BPSA) in a debate about whether the federal government should subsidize the construction and operation of supermarkets in urban “food deserts.” The debate coincided with that club’s regular meeting and was followed by a Q&A session about debate and the topic.

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