YPU Debates are regularly scheduled at 7:30pm on Tuesdays in Sudler Hall (in William L. Harkness Hall) unless specified otherwise.
Fall Semester 2016 Debates and Guests
Tuesday September 6th: Fall Organizational Debate
Tuesday September 13th: Dalibor Rohac
Dalibor Rohac is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies European political and economic trends. Before joining AEI,
Rohac was affiliated with the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, the London-based Legatum Institute, and the Center for the New Europe in Brussels. Rohac’s analyses and commentary have been published widely in the media, including in the Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal Europe. His recent book published in May, Toward a More Imperfect Union, makes a conservative case for maintaining the EU.
Tuesday September 20th: Glenn Loury
Glenn Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Brown University. Dr. Loury is a prominent social critic and public intellectual, writing mainly on the themes of racial inequality and social policy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has written several books, including “The Anatomy of Racial Inequality,” and “Race, Incarceration and American Values.”
Friday September 23: Discussion with Jill Kelley at 4 pm in the Silliman Common Room
Jill Kelley is an advocate, activist and author on electronic privacy rights. Her newly published memoir “Collateral Damage; Petraeus, Power, Politics and the Abuse of Privacy,” details the damage that can be caused by our government’s electronic overreach. Ms. Kelley has an extensive background in global affairs and
cross cultural diplomacy from her appointments as Honorary Diplomat to the Republic of South Korea and as the first Honorary Ambassador to the US Central Command Coalition. Ms. Kelley’s presentation will be presented by the Jill Kelley Foundation, a tax exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Tuesday September 27th: Mark Schnieder
Mark Schneider is a Vice President and an Institute Fellow at AIR, as well as a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. In 2013, the Chronicle of Higher Education selected him as one of the 10 people who had the most impact on higher education policy in that year. Dr. Schneider’s work seeks to increase accountability by making data on college productivity more publicly available. He has written many articles and books including “Higher Education Accountability,” and “Getting to Graduation.”
Tuesday October 4th: Freshman Prize Debate — Resolved: The Arc of History Curves Toward Justice (SSS 114)
Tuesday October 11th: Heather Mac Donald (Rescheduled for March 2017)
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Her work at City Journal has canvassed a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing and racial profiling, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race relations. She is a prolific writer, including books such as “The War on Cops,” and “The Burden of Bad Ideas.” Mac Donald is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, and she is an alumna of Yale College.
Tuesday October 25th: David Kotz
David Kotz is a Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Distinguished Professor in the School of Economics at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. His background includes activism in the civil rights and antiwar movements in the 1960s and 70s, and, more recently, books such as, “The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism,” and “The Demise of the Soviet System.”
*In the event of this guest cancellation, we will be holding a student debate on the resolution R: Reject Free-market Economics.*
Tuesday 11/1: Paul Steiger
This coming Tuesday, on November 1st, the Union will meet with Paul Steiger to debate R: Embrace Offensive Media. Paul Steiger was the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal from 1991 - 2007 and is the founder of ProPublica, a news source focused on independent investigative journalism for the public interest. In 2010, Propublica.org became the first online news source to win a Pulitzer Prize.
11/4-11/5: The YPU presents the Democracy Colloquium 2016
Monday November 7th: Election Debate, co-hosted with the Yale Debate Association, R: Cast a Protest Vote
Tuesday November 15th: Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig and Ronald Lindsay, Resolved: Religion Should Have No Place in Government
Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig is an assistant editor at the Washington Post, where she writes about ethics, politics, culture, and Christianity. She has written for publications like Jacobin Magazine, The Atlantic, and Spotlight on Poverty. Bruenig places herself on the Christian Left, and much of her work seeks to carve out a place for religion in left-leaning circles.
Ronald Lindsay is the President and CEO of the Center for Inquiry and of its affiliates, the Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He has published a number of articles on topics as diverse as bioethics, the morality of assisted suicide, and the need for equal rights for LGBT individuals. Collectively, his work forms the foundation of a discussion of nonreligious ethics.
11/30: Steven Calabresi, R: Appoint Activist Judges
Steven Calabresi is a Visiting Professor of Law at the Yale Law School, where he teachers Comparative Constitutional Law. He is the co-founder of the Federalist Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to discussing and debating questions of legal conservatism at its various Law School chapters across the country. Professor Calabresi served the Reagan and Bush administrations from 1985-1990. He is the nephew of Guido Calabresi.
12/6: Martha Nussbaum, R: Anger is politically unproductive
Martha Nussbaum is a philosopher and the current Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Nussbaum’s work has often focused on the unequal freedoms and opportunities of women, and she has developed a distinctive type of feminism, drawing inspiration from the liberal tradition, but emphasizing that liberalism, at its best, entails radical rethinking of gender relations and relations within the family. Nussbaum has engaged in many spirited debates with other intellectuals, including Judith Butler and John Rawls.
Past Debates: Spring Semester 2016 Schedule of Debates
1/19: Spring Organizational Debate with Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo on Resolved: Embrace the Responsibility to Protect.
Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo is a U.S. diplomat with an impressive and highly detailed career in U.S. foreign service. She was appointed the President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy in August 2015, and has also been appointed a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Ambassador DiCarlo’s expertise focuses on Russia and the former Soviet space, Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and the management of broad multilateral initiatives.
1/25 (Monday) Guest: Avi Chomsky on Resolved: End Immigration and Customs Enforcement Raids.
Professor Avi Chomsky is a labor historian with a specialty in globalization and migration, drawing on her past experiences working for the United Farm Workers union. She is the Coordinator of Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University. Professor Chomsky has written extensively on undocumented immigration to the United States, the Cuban revolution, and industry in Colombia, including in Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the Making of a Global Working Class and Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal.
2/02 Guest: Serrin Foster
Serrin Foster is the President of Feminists for Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to “systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and support—through holistic, women-centered solutions.” She previously served on the National Taskforce Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, working to pass the Violence Against Women Act. Ms. Foster advocates for on-campus resources and support for pregnant and parenting students, and works to oppose pregnancy discrimination.
2/03 Panel: Cornel West, Adolph Reed, and Elizabeth Carroll
On February 3 at 6:00 p.m., the Yale Political Union will host a discussion on the present and future of the politics of higher education. Celebrated writer, philosopher, and political activist, Dr. Cornel West, will headline the event.
Joining him will be Adolph Reed, Jr., a prominentintellectual and professor at the University of Pennsylvania,
and Elizabeth Carroll, the director of Yale University’s Education Studies program. The speakers willdiscuss public higher education, college affordability, academic labor, and other issues related to education policy in 2016. The event is co-organized by Yale Students for Bernie Sanders and Higher Education for Bernie.
2/08 Guest: Bruce Schneier
Bruce Schneier is a cryptographer and cybersecurity specialist with diverse research and experience in digital privacy, homeland security, and intelligence policy. He is the current Chief Technology Officer of Resilient Systems, a company providing cyberattack incident response, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, and a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In addition to his latest book, Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Capture Your Data and Control Your World, Mr. Schneier has written on the Snowden NSA disclosures, cyberterrorism, and digital rights management.
2/16 Gardner White Prize Debate
First Place will win $100 and a lifetime membership to the YPU.
Second Place will win $50 and a four-year membership.
Third Place will win $25 and a one-year membership.
2/23 Gideon Rose
Gideon Rose is the editor of Foreign Affairs with wide-ranging expertise on the Middle East and South Asia, American foreign policy, terrorism, and international conflict. He served during the Clinton administration as the Associate Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the National Security Council. Dr. Rose has written on American democracy promotion and the War on Terror, including in his book How Wars Ends: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle.
3/01 Guest: Leo Gerard
Leo Gerard is the International President of the United Steelworkers, the largest industrial union in North America. Under his leadership, the USW has secured government action and filed numerous trade law complaints against imports of government-subsidized steel, particularly from China. Mr. Gerard has worked to increase strategic transnational cooperation and alliances between unions, and co-founded the BlueGreen Alliance, a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations. He also serves on the U.S. National Commission on Energy Policy and chairs the AFL-CIO Public Policy Committee.
3/08 Guest: Kathleen Cleaver
Kathleen Cleaver is a Senior Lecturer at Emory Law focusing in both her scholarship and her activism on racial injustice in the United States legal system. The first Communications Secretary of the Black Panther Party, she has since served on the Georgia Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts. At Emory, Professor Cleaver specializes in civil rights history and U.S. law on citizenship and race, and has contributed essays to Critical Race Feminism, The Promise of Multiculturalism, and The Black Panther Party Reconsidered. The debate is cosponsored with the Black Student Alliance at Yale (BSAY).
3/28: Party Prize Debate
4/05 Guest: Sean Reyes
Sean Reyes is the current Attorney General of Utah and a member of the State Central Committee, the governing body of the Utah Republican Party. Attorney General Reyes has overseen cases on polygamy and immigration, and appealed a 2014 Tenth Circuit decision striking down Utah’s ban on gay marriage. As partner at Parsons Behle & Latimer, the largest Utah law firm, he argued and briefed cases before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and he has also served on the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a Congressional Commission on Latino issues.
4/12 Guest: Thomas Donnelly
Thomas Donnelly is the co-director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a pro-business think tank. A former editor of Armed Forces Journal, Army Times, and Defense News, his research focuses on American military strategy and resources, the Iraq War, and the relationship between the military and domestic political structures. Mr. Donnelly is also the Director of Strategic Communications and Initiatives at Lockheed Martin, a former staff member for the House Committee on Armed Services, and a former member of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
4/19 Guest: Keith Styles
Keith Styles is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at Catholic Charities USA, a network of 164 local Catholic Charities agencies in the United States. Catholic Charities USA advocates for government policy on poverty eradication and works directly through its local agencies on disaster response, housing, financial assistance, food and meal distribution, medical and dental care, and education to poor and vulnerable populations, under the principle that “ending poverty isn’t just a question of money—a family’s well-being should be evaluated by factors more holistic than merely its gross monthly income.”
4/25 Bulldog Days Debate: Akhil Reed Amar
Akhil Reed Amar is the Sterling Professor of Law at Yale University and the author of The Bill of Rights: Creation and Reconstruction, America’s Unwritten Constitution, and America’s Constitution: A Biography. Professor Amar’s scholarship on constitutional law, described by the New York Times as “commendably unorthodox, and, in some ways, iconoclastic,” has been cited by the Supreme Court in over 30 cases, and has won awards from the American Bar Association and the Federalist Society.