The Claremont Colleges Debate Union sponsors diverse public events, including a weekly public affairs cable television roundtable discussion production, public debate and discussion series, the Public Affairs Forum – an opportunity for students to engage academic and field experts, and town hall meetings on national and international issues of controversy and concern. The Debate Union hosts or sponsors more than 100 public events annually and has received awards from a number of debate and civic organizations for its public events programming.
Argumentation in the public sphere, from public debate and roundtable discussions, to town hall meetings and radio, television and internet public affairs broadcasts, to participation in civic, service, community, business, and political organizations has long been a vital part of American political and social engagement.
Training and participation in public speaking and debate improves valuable analytical and speaking skills, and enables the probative discussion of important issues, whether scientific, historical, religious or political. It contributes to the intellectual and ethical development of its individual participants and communities by challenging them to make defensible judgments in which they must critically investigate complex issues, question given assumptions, evaluate the reliability of data and consider alternative perspectives. Public sphere argumentation stimulates and refines communication skills that empower individuals to speak for themselves, to discover and use their own voices.
In addition, in an increasingly polarized and fragmented society, more individuals need the opportunity to engage each other and contest ideas about the common good. By participating in public events, students may promote community discussion of controversial issues and encourage participation and expressions of difference. They encourage student participants to consider community perspectives on issues and to adapt their own persuasive appeals to community interests and concerns.
Public events may be held in schools, primarily for audiences of students and teachers, or at non-academic sites in the community for wider audiences. A good public event will promote the desire of those attending it to speak for themselves about the issues raised. Most public events feature questions from the audience or open discussion after any formal presentation.
Site and Date for Public Events TBA
Please review "news, notes & events" or this page at a later date for upcoming public events, including Public Affairs Forum lectures and discussions, public debates and town hall meetings, and broadcast productions.