Student representatives from six campus clubs took part in the 2018 Campus Policy Debate this past Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Eisenhower Institute.
The 6 political clubs that took part in the debate were the Gettysburg Anti-Capitalist Collective (GACC), College Democrats, College Independents, College Republicans, Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), and Young Americans for Freedom (YAF).
Two students from each organization served as their organization’s spokesmen.
For GACC: Randy Feeley ’21 and Ryan Sipple ‘21
For College Democrats: August Umholtz ’18 and Nadine Snyder ‘21
For College Independents: Danielle Jones ’18 and Alexander Engelsman ‘18
For College Republicans: Zachary Sobeck ’20 and Wellington Baumann ‘20
For YAL: Christopher Condon ’18 and Liam Kerr ‘18
For YAF: Nicholas DiGiulio ’20 and Joshua Gonzalez ‘21
Political science professor, Scott Boddery, moderated the debate, posing questions about infrastructure, sexual harassment, environmental concerns, foreign policy and DACA.
Each political club had 1 minute to respond to the questions asked, as well as 30 seconds to rebut the responses of others.
Throughout the night, some common ground was reached. On the topic of sexual harassment, representatives from all of the clubs agreed that every sexual assault accusation needs to be taken seriously and investigated further.
However, contention remained on many issues. When the College Republicans proclaimed that they were in support of Trump’s $1.5 billion infrastructure plan, College Democrats responded.
“I’m glad the Republicans have gotten on board with the infrastructure plan but where were they when Obama was trying to fix this issue?” said Nadine Snyder ’21 of College Democrats.
Combating climate change was another issue upon which the College Democrats and College Republicans could not agree. While the College Democrats argued that the United States should re-support the Paris Agreement, the College Republicans were firm in their belief that such an agreement provides the United States with limited environmental returns and large consequences.
Audience members were allowed to write their own questions and submit them to Prof. Boddery to be read aloud. One of the selected questions was about gun control.
While the College Republicans argued that the United States is not suffering from a gun epidemic and that regulating gun sales will not stop criminals, the College Democrats protested this.
For one of the first times in the evening, the College Independents stepped in to voice their disagreement to the College Republicans.
“I believe that we need to modify our constitutional amendments when they prove to be an actual detriment to our society, and I would argue that killing children is a detriment to our society,” said Alex Engelsman ’18, College Independents.