The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) held two public debate events this week, on Monday the 10th and Wednesday the 12th. The former was a prize debate for the German Embassy, co-sponsored by the Rutgers German Club, the third in a series of debates about Germany’s role in Europe where RUDU has competed against other competitive academic organizations at the University. The latter was an event for the Bloustein Public Service Association (BPSA), who invited RUDU to discuss the topic of urban food deserts in an exhibition.
The German debate was part of an event hosted by the German Club to celebrate Karneval, the German equivalent of Mardi Gras. Four organizations were invited to compete in the debates, working toward an eventual final round and champion. RUDU faced the Rutgers University Association of International Relations (RUAIR) in the first debate, discussing the topic of whether the future would involve a more European Germany or a more Germany Europe, with RUDU defending the latter. Rutgers University Mock Trial (RUMTA) and Rutgers University Institute for Domestic and International Affairs (RUIDIA) squared off in a second debate about the same topic.
From that initial matchup, RUDU and RUAIR were chosen to rematch in the final round, this time with RUDU advocating that Germany should stop bailing out Greece and RUAIR opposing that notion. At the conclusion of the final, the panel of three faculty judges deemed RUDU to have won the debate and its top prize. RUDU was represented in this debate by Gordon Morrisette, Alex Jubb, and Vidhaath Sripathi.
Two days later, on Wednesday, four RUDU debaters squared off in a two-on-two exhibition at the BPSA meeting in Scott Hall on the topic of whether supermarkets should be subsidized in urban “food deserts,” or regions where it is hard to buy fresh food. Nick Hansen and Henry Phipps advocated the motion while Sean Leonard and George Alukal opposed it. Phipps also serves on the Executive Board of BPSA and helped coordinate the exhibition event.
RUDU’s next public debate will be hosted by the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), Rutgers’ undergraduate student government. This debate will involve six RUDU debaters in a 3-on-3 format discussing the controversial topic of whether the invitation to Condoleezza Rice to serve as 2014 Commencement Speaker at Rutgers should be withdrawn. The issue was first raised by the Faculty Council of Rutgers-New Brunswick, who drafted a resolution exhorting the administration to withdraw the invitation, citing Rice’s role in “efforts to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the existence of links between al Qaeda and the Iraqi regime,” leading to war. RUSA is considering a similar resolution and will be voting on whether to pass it directly after the public debate on this topic.
The debate will take place on Thursday, March 27th, at 7:30 PM in the Student Activities Center (SAC) on the College Avenue Campus. Admission is free, refreshments will be served, and a large crowd is expected to attend. There will be an opportunity to ask questions between the debate itself and RUSA’s vote on the resolution.
More details for the event and the opportunity to RSVP and spread the word are available on the event’s Facebook page.
RUDU will also be holding public debate events as part of Rutgers Day on Saturday, April 26th. More details about those activities will be posted as the event approaches.