Kelsey Redmond, Staff Writer
The University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) College Democrats and the UMF College Republicans are currently working together to coordinate a time and place to sponsor a political debate that will be held on campus.
Political debates between the UMF College Democrats and the UMF College Republicans have not occurred in the past couple of years. “On campus, political debates were once a tradition at UMF but have ceased in recent years,” said Robert Robilliard, the President of the UMF College Democrats. “It is my hope they will become a tradition once again.”
At the debate three members from each club will sit at a panel, prepared to respond to a series of questions. Some question topics that will be covered during the debate include the topics of National Defense, the Economy both State and National, Gun Rights, and Climate Change. Each topic will be given fifteen minutes to be discussed and the questions that will be chosen to be asked to the members on the panel will be determined by the debate moderator. The UMF College Democrats and Republicans plan to ask President Foster to moderate. At the debate, audience members are welcome to ask a range of questions that are relevant to one of the discussion topics.
Even though only three members will be speaking on the panel, all members of the UMF Democrats and the UMF Republicans will be involved with the debate. Members of both clubs will attend the debate to listen in the audience, while their fellow club members speak on the panel. The possibility of a few selected members being able to back up their club members on the panel has been suggested, “The club members could be kind of like the backup for the panelists and then maybe they could consult with whoever is talking, with answering questions on the floor,” said Tyler Hadyniak, the Vice President of the UMF College Republicans. Other club members who are not speaking at the debate are currently assisting by spending their time on preparation card are also working on promoting the event.
The debate is not being hosted specifically for students already involved with politics’, anyone who is interested in listening may attend the event. “The idea is to educate people about different political issues to make them more aware of what is going on in politics,” said Hadyniak.
“I would like to see as many students as possible to attend,” he said. “For people who don’t really know where they stand, or even for those who do, I believe that this debate will be a great chance to have a well-reasoned look at the thinking on both sides of the political spectrum,” said Robilliard.
An exact date and location is not set for the debate yet, but it will take place in April of UMF’s Spring semester. The event is open to UMF students, as well as the community.