Monday, February 6, 2017

ISU to Host Public Debate on Cuban Embargo

ISU’s Rupp Debate Team invites the general public, together with students, faculty, and staff, to attend its spring semester Public Debate, Thursday, February 9, at 6 p.m. The event will be held in the Pond Student Union Building Salmon River Suites, and refreshments will be served.

This event will also be streaming live. This is the idea occasion for a team meeting or fun night. A link to the livestream will be posted on our Facebook page, . 

Students will argue the topic: “Resolved, the United States should lift its embargo against Cuba.”

The debate is a modified “public forum” style, featuring one pair of speakers on each side of the issue. Each side then takes turns building arguments and answering cross-examination by the opposition. A unique feature, the “Grand Cross Examination,” engages audience members in the questioning with the aid of a moderator.

Audience members also get in on the action by voting before and after the debate on their opinion of the issue.

“Proponents of the embargo argue that Cuba has not met the conditions for lifting the embargo, including transitioning to democracy and improving human rights,” while opponents argue that it is a “failed policy … [and] a cold war relic,” according to

Mike Chen, President of Pi Kappa Delta debate society at ISU said: “"This debate topic has come up time and time again. It's an ongoing issue that has really changed in the last few years with the renewal of the relationship between Cuba and the U.S. under President Obama. But now that there is a new president in office, it really makes us wonder what will happen with current Cuban relations and whether or not policies will change? This is definitely a topic worth discussing."

The issue was chosen in-part as a service to area high school students, demonstrating of one of their topics this term.  According to Chen, "We wanted to do this topic because it is important for all debaters to come together and talk about it whether they're from the high school circuit or the college circuit. Debate is about a competitive field that fosters educational discussion, and it is part of our goal to extend that to everyone in the community. The Cuban embargo is something we need to talk about as debaters and as members of this Democratic Republic."

The Rupp Debate team presents public debates each fall and spring. The fall debates both hosted over 100 participants.

ISU's Mike Chen Wins Online Debate Tournament.

ISU Bengal Debater Mike Chen has added another first place win to his impressive intercollegiate debate resume.  Chen argued in the final round to a 5-0 victory.

Members of the squad participated in the all-online "Climb the Mountain" debate tournament Saturday. Bengal debaters faced competitors from UW-Bothel, Montana, and Utah State.

In addition to Chen's 1st place win, he was awarded top speaker points by the tournament for the Open Division.  That honor was mirrored by ISU's Sydnee Harris who earned top-honors for speaking points in the Novice Division. Bengal debaters Jack Bradley and Michael Mares received honorable mentions in the speaking points category as well.

Today's tournament was an International Public Debate Association tournament. Unique to the IPDA style is the topic draw, where competitors each "strike" [eliminate] two potential topics from a list of five options until one remains to begin each head-to-head contest.

Congratulations to the Idaho State Squad.