Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Idaho State Debate Squad has solid showing at public debate February 19th

February 20, 2019

POCATELLO - The Idaho State Debate Squad welcomed about 60 students, staff, and faculty -- and many members of the public -- to the Pond Student Union Tuesday, February 19, for a Public Debate. Squad members Kaden Marchetti and Squad V.P. Conner Coutts faced off against Team President Nick Grunig and Jett Smith. The topic was solving Pocatello's homeless issues through implementing "Housing First."

Defined by The National Alliance to end Homelessness, "Housing First [is a federally funded program which] does not require people experiencing homelessness to address all of their problems including behavioral health problems [also including alcoholism, unedployment, or drug addiction], or to graduate through a series of service programs before they can access housing.  The Housing First approach views housing as the foundation for life improvementand enables access to permanent housing without prerequisites or conditions beyond those of a typical renter. Supportive services are offered to support people with housing stability and individual well-being, but participation is not required as services have been found to be more effective when a person chooses to engage" (

Moderator Larry Gebhardt provided a framework for the issue, noting the shocking statistic that nearly 22% of people in any given community fall under the definition of "homeless." Gebhardt also assisted the debaters in fielding questions from the audience during the "Grand Cross Examination," where members of the audience pose questions to the competition panel and each side gets to make a response.

The debate was met with many compliments and the decision was made to re-record the debate for posterity.  It will be available through the James M. and Sharon E. Rupp Debate Society Facebook page, or by clicking here

The Rupp Debate Squad presents public debate opportunities each semester as part of their mission to bring the campus and community interesting, well-structured, and poignant topics for consideration.

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Monday, February 18, 2019

ISU debates Pocatello homeless issue on Feb. 19

February 15, 2019
POCATELLO – Idaho State University’s award-winning Rupp Debate Society squad will host a public debate on the topic of homelessness in Pocatello on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Pond Student Union Little Wood River Room.

Students will debate the topic of Homelessness in the City of Pocatello.  The city has seen a recent flurry of activity on the topic ranging from the implications of new residential and business development, community growth and non-profit groups looking to create or expand housing to address the homeless issue.
The debate is a modified “public forum” style, featuring one pair of speakers on each side of the issue.  The sides for the debate were determined by a coin toss, and teams have been preparing for several weeks.  Each team will provide an opening position – or case – from their research. After both teams have made initial arguments, each side then takes turns answering cross-examination by the opposition.  A unique feature, the “grand cross examination,” engages audience members in the questioning with the aid of moderator Larry Gebhardt.  Short final presentations will summarize each side’s position.
“We are seeking to expand the dialogue on this important matter, and bring a new and unique view to the table,” said Nick Grunig, the team’s president. “We’ve been talking with many interested parties throughout the community, and have tried to bring their main concerns into a concise debate.”
Audience members will also get in on the action by voting before and after the debate on their opinion of the issue. The function typically lasts about 75 minutes.
The Rupp Debate Society team presents public debates periodically. The most recent function, including those who livestreamed the debate, was viewed by more than 500 local and regional participants.
The Rupp Debate Society is supported by James A. and Sharon E. Rupp, the College of Arts and Letters, the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion, and the Associated Students of ISU.