In a debate titled, “What is the right direction for America?” a pair of Gonzaga professors and poitical pundits aim to present an unbiased discussion about various topics at the forefront of mainstream news.
The event, on April 23, in the Hemmingson Ballroom from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., is coordinated by the Washington Policy Center (WPC).
“The [audience] is hearing from experts in the fields, yet it’s going to be balanced,” WPC’s Eastern Washington Coordinator, Miranda Hawkins said. “I think that’s the key, is getting the news on both sides of the debate and then making your own choice. Oftentimes, we grow up in a certain household or we hear from the same professors and the same people [on] one side. So, this is a way for students to hear both sides of an argument to be better informed so they can make their own decisions.”
Senior Political Economy Reporter for the Huffington Post Zach Carter, and GU political science professor Dr. Michael Treleaven will represent the side supporting more government. Political Economist at the American Enterprise Institute Tim Carney, and GU business professor Dr. Donald Hackney will speak in favor of less government. The debate will be moderated by Nadine Woodward, a news anchor for the Spokane TV station KXLY.
Carney’s affiliate, the American Enterprise Institute, is a sister organization of the WPC located in Washington, D.C., and thus, in the eyes of Hawkins, his inclusion in the event was a logical decision. Furthermore, Hawkins explained that Carter’s involvement made sense, as he and Carney have debated against one another in the past.
As for representatives within the GU community, the WPC landed Hackney early in the organizing process, but finding a professor in favor of more government proved challenging.
"We actually went through 10 or 15 different professors that were going to focus on more government before we found one that would actually do it,” sophomore Jack Bell, vice president of WPC at GU, said.
Topics addressed will include climate change, taxation, minimum wage, college tuition and health care, with a focus on how much the government should be involved in those affairs.
“We as a club had a meeting, and we talked about some of the issues that are biggest in the news, that we hear amongst our peers, issues that people our age are concerned about, worried about, think about,” said junior Tessa Shelton, president of WPC Young Professionals.
Following the debate, the floor will be opened for questions from audience members. However, both Hawkins and Shelton intend for questions to be sent in beforehand.
Students can RSVP on the WPC’s website or by reaching out to Hawkins directly. The WPC’s web address and contact information for Hawkins is readily available on the event’s flyers, which are circulating throughout campus.
“[Attendees] should expect a lively debate that’s robust yet educated,” Hawkins said. “They’re going to be kept on their toes and they’re not going to be bored.”
Jackson Frank is a sports editor. Follow him on Twitter: @jackfrank_jjf.