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YPU Debates are regularly scheduled at 7:30pm on Tuesdays, unless otherwise specified.

Schedule of Union Guests and Debates

Organizational Debate: 1/13 Resolved: Stop Enhanced Interrogation with Michael Posner
Michael Posner is the former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He is a prominent human rights lawyer and the founding executive director of the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, Human Rights First. At present, Mr. Posner is the co-director of the Center for Business and Human Rights at NYU’s Stern School of Business, and serves on the board of the International Service for Human Rights. Michael Posner
1/20 Resolved: Nationalize Banks with Richard Wolff
Richard Wolff is a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The New York Times Magazine has called him “America’s most prominent Marxist economist,” and he is the author of several books, including Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown and What To Do About It. Dr. Wolff is the host of the weekly radio program Economic Update. Richard Wolff
1/27 Resolved: The Freer the Trade, the Freer the People with Stephen Roach
Stephen Roach is the former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and the former chief economist at Morgan Stanley. He is an expert in global affairs, in particular with regard to US-China relations, and has penned two books including his recent work Unbalanced: the Codependency of America and China. Currently, he is a senior lecturer at the Yale School of Management and a senior fellow at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Stephen Roach
2/2 Resolved: Repeal the Second Amendment with Nelson Lund
Nelson Lund is a professor at George Mason University’s School of Law, where he has taught classes in a variety of fields, including but not limited to Constitutional Law, Federal Election Law, and Employment Discrimination. Dr. Lund has written and published many articles on federalism, separation of powers, and the Second Amendment. He has held multiple positions in the US Department of Justice, in the Office of the Solicitor General, and the Office of Legal Counsel. Nelson Lund
2/10 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.
Contact the Floor Leaders if you are interested in competing.
2/17 with John DeStefano
John DeStefano was the 49th mayor of New Haven, serving 10 consecutive terms from 1994 until 2014. He was the Democratic candidate in the 2006 Connecticut gubernatorial election. During his time as mayor, he has focused on education and public safety with programs such as the Livable City Initiative and the Citywide Youth Initiative and launched a program to renovate New Haven’s public schools. DeStefano
2/24 with David Bromwich and George Siemens
David Bromwich is a Sterling Professor of English at Yale and a fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Bromwich is the author of several books and articles, including the recent op-ed “The Hi-Tech Mess of Higher Education,” published in the New York Review of Books. Bromwich
George Siemens is the executive director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research lab at the University of Texas at Arlington. Mr. Siemens is the originator of Connectivism theory as well as the author of the book Knowing Knowledge. He has been a pioneer in the field of “open teaching,” and a well-known educator in the massive open online course format. Siemens
3/3 with Neera Tanden
Neera Tanden is the current president of the Center for American Progress, a public policy research and advocacy organization. She has done work in domestic policy in think tanks and on Capitol Hill and was the domestic policy director for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Tanden
3/23 with Sheryll Cashin
Sheryll Cashin is a professor of law at Georgetown University. She comes from a family of civil rights activists and has served as an advisor on urban and economic policy during the Clinton administration. Dr. Cashin also worked as a law clerk under Justice Thurgood Marshall. She is the author of three books, including The Failure of Integration: How Race and Class are Undermining the American Dream. Cashin
4/7 Party Prize Debate
4/14 with Rebecca Traister
Rebecca Traister is a writer for The New Republic. She has been a senior writer for Salon, and has written for publications including Elle, The Nation, Vogue, and The New York Observer, among others. She writes about the role of women in politics and the media. Ms. Traister is the author of the book Big Girls Don’t Cry. Traister
4/20 Bulldog Days Debate with Howard Dean
Howard Dean served as the 79th Governor of Vermont from 1991 to 2003 and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. Dean was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election. Dean

Previous Semester of Union Debates and Guests (Spring 2014):

Organizational Debate:9/2 Resolved: Put Down the Death Penalty with Reverend Al Sharpton, minister, civil rights activist, and talk show host
Reverend Al Sharpton has helped lead the fight for civil rights since 1969. One of the country’s leading voices on racial relations, Sharpton has worked closely with other political leaders to fight perceived injustice. Currently, Sharpton acts as a trusted White House advisor. In addition, he hosts the radio talk show Keepin’ It Real and has hosted MSNBC’s PoliticsNation since 2011. Sharpton
9/9 Resolved: Repeal the Religious Freedom Restoration Act with Brian Leiter
A widely cited legal philosopher, Professor Leiter is the Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence and Director, Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values at UChicago. His scholarly writings have focused on both legal philosophy and continental philosophy. Leiter also writes the philosophy blog, Leiter Reports.  
9/16 Resolved: An Unfettered Free Market Better Protects Consumers with John Stossel
John Stossel joined Fox Business Network in 2009. He is currently the host of “Stossel”, a weekly program highlighting consumer issues from a libertarian point of view. Stossel also appears regularly on Fox News Channel providing similar analysis. Prior to joining FBN, Stossel co-anchored ABC’s primetime newsmagazine show, “20/20.” There, he contributed in-depth special reports and recurring segments on a variety of consumer topics, from pop culture to government and business. Earlier in his career, Stossel served as consumer editor for “Good Morning America” and as a reporter at WCBS-TV in New York City.  
9/26 Lunch with Don Liebich
Don Liebich is a spent his career with the U.S. Navy Nuclear Submarine service and Sysco Corp. After retiring from Sysco Corp, he engaged in numerous consulting projects in various countries including Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Indonesia and Venezuela. He has traveled to the Middle East numerous times in the past ten years. Liebich has been involved with economic development, citizen diplomacy and human rights projects in Jordan, Israel/Palestine including the West Bank, UAE and Iran.
9/30: Freshman Prize Debate on Resolved: Be Good, Not Great
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.
10/7: Resolved: Do Not Grant Citizenship to Undocumented Immigrants with Alberto Gonzales
Alberto Gonzales is the dean of Belmont University College of Law. Previously, Hon. Gonzales served as the 80th Attorney General of the United States (2005-2007), Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court (1999-2000), and Secretary of State of Texas (1997-1999).
10/14: Student Debate on Resolved: Embrace the Right to be Forgotten
(Senator John Edwards’ scheduled visit was postponed to a later date)
10/20 (Monday): Resolved: Liberalism is Destroying the Family with Sean Fieler
Sean Fieler is President of Equinox Partners, L.P. and the Kuroto Fund, L.P.   Over the past sixteen years, Sean Fieler and his partner, William Strong, have assembled a research team capable of analyzing businesses around the world, a capability that has enabled Equinox Partners and the Kuroto Fund to consistently purchase superior businesses at substantial discounts to their intrinsic value. Mr. Fieler serves as Chairman of the American Principles Project.  He is chairman of the Chiaroscuro Foundation and serves as a board member of the Witherspoon Institute, the Manhattan Institute, the Dominican Foundation, the Committee for Monetary and Research & Education, the Acton Institute and the Susan B. Anthony List.  He is also an executive member of the Republican Governors Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee. A graduate of Williams College with a degree in political economy, Mr. Fieler speaks and publishes on the topic of monetary reform. He has given talks on monetary policy at the annual Grant’s Conference, the Atlas Liberty Forum and has written for The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard. Mr. Fieler lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with his wife, son and three daughters.
10/28: with Jason Stanley
Jason Stanley is Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Professor II (Distinguished Professor) in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. He works in Epistemology, Cognitive Science, Philosophy of Language, Social and Political Philosophy, and History of 20th Century Philosophy. He has published three books with Oxford University Press. His latest book, How Propaganda Works, is forthcoming with Princeton University Press in 2015.
11/4 with Helen Slottje
Helen Slottje is a grassroots environmental activist known for advocating for fracking bans all across New York State. Slottje was recently awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her efforts. Slottje’s work has helped inspire similar movements across the country in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, California and Texas.
11/11 with Amie Stepanovich
Amie Stepanovich is Senior Policy Counsel at Access. Stepanovich is an expert in domestic surveillance, cybersecurity, and privacy law. At Access, Stepanovich leads projects on digital due process and responds to threats at the intersection of human rights and communications surveillance. Previously, she was the Director of the Domestic Surveillance Project at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, where she testified in hearings in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as in State legislatures. She was co-chair for the 2014 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference and is the Committee on Individual Rights and Responsibilities’ Liason to the American Bar Association’s Cybersecurity Working Group. Stepanovich was named as a Privacy Ambassador by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada and was recognized in 2014 as one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 leaders in Law and Policy. Stepanovich has a J.D. from New York Law School, and a B.S. from the Florida State University.
11/18 with Stanley Fish
Stanley Fish is the Floerscheimer Distinguished Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School in New York City. Since beginning his career as a medievalist, Fish has become a prominent legal theorist and Milton scholar. More recently, Fish has focused on definitions of academic freedom in regards to academic boycotts.
12/2 Resolved: America Needs a Single-Payer Healthcare System with Edmund Haislmaier
Edmund Haislmaier is a Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, where he is a leading expert on health care tax policy, Medicare, Medicaid, foreign health systems, pharmaceuticals and health care price controls. In addition to advising lawmakers, Haislmaier is a frequent guest on radio and television news and talk shows. His commentaries have been published in The Washington Times, New York Post and National Review Online among many others.


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