12th September 2010

The Executive Board meeting of the Yale Political Union held on Sunday 12th September 2010 was called to order at 3:36 pm in the YPU Office, with the President, Mr. Conor Crawford, presiding.

PRESENT (absences indicated in italics):

President, Mr. Conor Crawford (Pres)

Vice President, Mr. Logan Mohs (VP)

Speaker, Mr. Adam Stempel (Speaker)

Director of Campus Relations, Miss Sandy Zhu (DCR)

Director of Development, Mr. Joseph Charlet (DD)

Treasurer, Mr. Yang Li (Treas)

Director of Campus Relations, Miss Sandy Zhu (DCR)

Chair of the Liberal Party, Miss Stephanie Seller (CLP)

Chair of the Party of the Left, Mr. Dominick Lawton (CPL)

Chairman of the Progressive Party, Mr. Jordon Walker (CPP)

Chairman of the Independent Party, Miss Shannon Connors (CIP)

Chairman of the Conservative Party, Mr. Kyle Rusciano(CCP)

Chairman of the Tory Party, Mr. Cyprien Sarteau (CTP)

Chairman of the Party of the Right, Miss Camila YaDeau (CPR)

Floorleader of the Left, Mr. Ryan Pollock(FLL)

Floorleader of the Right, Mr. Nick Geiser (FLR)

Secretary of the YPU, Mr. Cameron Rotblat



Miss Yemile Bucay, Social Secretary

Miss Leah Libresco

Mr. Stephen Marsh

Mr. Mr. Gabriel Ellsworth

Mr. Jeremy Weltmer


Pres notes that Mr. Charlet is sick and could attend the meeting.


Speaker starts a discussion about the Karl Rove debate. He notes that Rove was good performer and the room was filled a couple times over. He says it was a shame we had to start late. He also argues the debate lost a lot of energy when Karl Rove left. He notes that freshmen who got in all said it was excited. He concludes saying it went about as well as it could have gone given Rove’s circumstances.


CPR expresses concerns about the pre-Rove reception sponsored by the Young Americas for Freedom. She notes that the Federalist invited many freshmen, while YPU Eboard was not invited. She argues that given the amount of money we spent, it is ridiculous how much power the Yong Americans for Freedom had over who was invited. She contends we should think about our relationship with them in the future.


CTP seconds the concerns about the invention of freshmen, as being disrespectful to both Rove and the YPU.


VP agrees. He says that he had talked to Miss Libresco and who would have a discussion with Adcomm about future events with “big names being co-sponsored.” He says the co-sponsorship was more of an issue than he originally thought and will develop a plan with Adcomm.


Miss Libresco says there should be a handbook about Irving Brown lectures. She notes that it is difficult for VP, but it is a great opportunity. She thanks VP for handling the difficulties with working for 4 organizations.


CPP discusses the fact that the Young Americans had seats reserved, but people highly involved with the YPU were not given seats. He asks if there is a way to reserve seats in the future.


VP notes the difficulty of getting an exact number of seats and names attached to those seats. He notes that the Brown family almost did not have reserved seats. He says that at next week’s debate and future debates, we should open doors to union members before general public or “do something of that sort.”


Speaker says that because the debate was cosponsored, we could not make the Federalist entirely “second tier.” He also notes the desire to have lots of freshmen attend.


Pres notes that specific seats had been reserved for Young Americans for Freedom in the past. He says Speaker’s idea of shift could help to alleviate some confusion. He also notes that attendance was widely higher than expected, with a line starting 30 minutes before the doors opened.


Mr. Ellsworth asks about the feasibility of an overflow room with video for large debates.


VP says the Law School’s standard practice is to have overflow, but Mr. Rove did not want any recording. He also notes that Battell chapel is the same price as Law school, so can look in Battle in future.


Pres notes that Mr. Rove double-checked that there would not be any radio feed.


CTP notes some issues with the Teller’s conduct during the debate. He says the way that the Federalist Party is treated in the books needs to be made clear. He says Alan Cole marked “F’s” in the unaffiliated book for people in the Federalist Party. He notes Alan Cole also asked the Teller to buy another book.




CPL says “no one but teller should mess with books.”


Speaker says that as soon as next week the Federalist may have sign-in book, the get one when they hand-in their petition. He also clarifies the system on Speaker’s Notes. The regular books close 20 minutes after the opening gavel. Speaker’s Notes are for academic, legal, religion, or medical reasons. He says people must note what class they have and where and when it meets, if using it as an excuse for a Speaker’s Note.


Pres says that he notes the many concerns. He says Adcomm will meet this week and will resolve CTP’s concerns. He introduces a discussion on the debate tomorrow in SSS 114 7:30 with Mr. Astrue.


VP says he has been talking to Mr. Astrue’s assistant. He says Astrue will meet with YPU for dinner at 5:00 and if interested in attending directs people to contact Conor. He says Astrue will stay the entire debate, but may not go to Yorkside.


Pres says there is still room at diner and for speeches.


CPP asks whether the diner is at Mory’s or Yorkside.


Pres responds “Mory’s.“


Miss Bucay discusses the freshman picnic from 3:00-5:00 on old campus, which would be after lecture but not too late. She reports that she had been talking with Branford about borrowing grill, but that they were not very receptive. She says that if anyone knows about a grill to let her know. She also reports on talking with the director of commons to use swipes for food. She says that if they do not agree she hope to get things at discounted price through them. She adds that getting coals is the only problem now. She asks anyone with a zip car account to contact her.


Pres says that it could be a good opportunity for freshmen to talk about speeches. She adds, “if anyone has any useful or could help, email Miss Bucay.”


CLP says she has questions about using meal swipes, “how would it work.”


Miss Bucay says it would work the same way it has worked in the past. She would send an email to members and ask for SIDs for meal swipes.


CPR asks whether Miss Bucay has contacted fire marshal, as they have cracked down on some events in the past.


Pres says Eboard should move freshman prize debate. He notes that Eboard had decided on “Resolved: America should spread democracy abroad.” He also notes that Vilsack cannot make Sept 28th.


VP says the debate will be in LC 102.


FLL moves to debate “Resolved: America should spread democracy abroad” on September 21st in LC 102 free and open to the public


Speaker moves to amend the motion to include prizes: $100 and a lifetime membership for first place, $50 and a two-year for second place, and $25 and a one-year membership for third place.


Miss Libresco moves to amend the motion to state that one person from each party will judge in Olympic style with edited score cards.


Pres asks whether he can judge.


Speaker says yes.


Pres moves to amend the motion to include the President as a judge.


FLL declares all amendments friendly.


The motion is seconded and passes


Pres says that Mr. Vilsack had a conflict. He says that Eboard should Brainstorm guest as they have a good window of time.


DDR asks what happened to the YHHAP co-sponsored debate and whether we can we move it.


Miss Libresco says there is no way we can get McCrystal, but that she would check the former President of Mexico and former Prime Minster Blair. She notes that Charles Hill likes to come out to events. She also notes that Professor Amar is on the YPU’s list of faculty. She also adds that people in think tanks have interesting things to say and nothing to do on Thursday night. She also says “Cato people are easy and are in the Northeast.” She asks if there is anything conservatives would like to talk about. She also mentions Katherine Mangu-Ward.


CLP responds, “really, ooh.”


Pres directs members to give VP any thoughts or suggestions. He adds that if this is he only guest concern of semester, that would be great.


Pres asks about the status of the Gallagher debate.


Miss Libresco notes that the last time we chatted Eboard opposed “Gays should not marry.” She adds that both guests did not like it. She says that Mr. Wolfson wants the resolution about rights and freedoms. She says that Mrs. Gallagher proposes, “Marriage is and should remain union of man and wife” and “Judge Walker was wrong.” She says Eboard needs a resolution that works for both.


Speaker says he has objections to both object. He says that “Marriage is and should remain union of man and wife,” is “alright, but not as snappy.” He says that the Judge Walker debate would be very constitutional and legalistic, with “a high change of going directions we do not want.”


CPP says that most of Walker’s decision does not seem very legalistic


Speaker says the problem is that most challenges to it are legalistic.


Miss Libresco notes that Mrs. Gallagher would not give a very legalistic speech. She says she wants to know which resolution Eboard prefers.


A strawpoll is taken and results in four votes for “is and should…”

And four for “Judge Walker…”


Pres ask if there is any objection to Leah sending both to Mr. Wolfson.


No response.


CCP says that the Judge Walker resolution seems rather legalistic. He notes that he did not know who Judge Walker was before now, and therefore prefer the other resolution


FFL says he would want to change “husband and wife” to “man and women/”


Speaker says that we could try, and that it would be a little better, but Maggie Gallagher might disagree.


Miss Libresco notes that the change would add extra emails


VP says he does not find changing it worth it, as it is “not much of a change.”


CPL asks whether we have we had this problem with resolutions in the past for dual debate.


Miss Libresco says there is no living memory of a dual debate but that every guest wants to change the resolution, so she would think so. She notes that the only rooms possible because of a math mid-term were, Sudler and Davies. She frames the choice as “small v. creepy.” She also notes that Mr. Wolfson has emailed information about the debate to those outside of Yale.


Pres says that Sudler Hall holds “around 200ish,: and is bigger than LC 102.


Miss Libresco says she is concerned that we would have to turn a lot of people way.


VP, while looking at his laptop notes that Sudler holds 205. He says that the LC’s may be available, but he thought they were too small.


Miss Libresco asks how many more seats there are in Davies Auditorium.


CPR says that she would prefer avoiding Davies, as it “is awful.”


Pres says the room “single-handedly killed the Warner debate.” He directs the VP to see if Sudler is available, as the Union does not have money to try for the Law School.


VP says that Davies holds 70 more people.


Speaker moves on to talking about Aaron Brown. He says the resolution is difficult because media debates are always tricky. He says he is enormously happy, but three best resolutions are “America needs public media,” “Keep politicians private lives out of the public sphere,” and “Cancel cable news.”


Pres says that Mr. Brown wanted to talk about how partisan media is destroying America.


Speaker says that “partisan media is destroying democracy” seems too descriptive.


CPP says he supports number three.


Speaker notes that the guest was on cable news until he was fired.


Miss Libresco asks why he was fired.


Pres says that CNN wanted to look young, hip, and energetic to beat Fox news.


CPL says that the third is snappiest, and probably the least limited. He says that he does not know enough people could talk about the first. He feels the third allows for the largest number of interesting speeches


Mr. Ellsworth asks where is the urgency of the debate. He says that is dangerous to have debates “for soap boxes with the pretense of doing anything.”


Speaker notes that we cannot really enforce any of them. He adds that Mr. Brown will talk about how this kind is media is destroying democracy.


CIP says that the question about canceling it is not interesting. She adds that she is “Itchy about the word need.”


CPL notes that if everyone canceled cable, cable news could die. He says, “you could actually do something.”


CCP says he disagrees with everyone. He believes that the first is better because debating “public media v. private media seems more interesting than talking bout canceling Fox and CNN, while ABC and NBC still exist.”


CTP says he thinks there is a huge difference between “cat in a tree v. Glen Beck.”


Pres says for a quick split


Room is overwhelming in favor of “Cancel cable news”


Pres says that he will pass this on to Mr. Brown and “see if he is okay with it.”


Pres says that Treas has amendments to the budget.


Treas says that he added $600 in cost for Karl Rove, but that the number was actually closer to $300. He also notes the bad news is Aaron Brown decided to buy first class tickets for $1089.


Pres notes that the price sounds awful and he hates it as well. He argues that it is shift of cost instead of increase in cost, as the price of a ticket from Arizona to here was at least $600. He adds that Brown taking a redeye to Newark saves us money. He also adds that Mr. Brown has back problems and does not take coach, and that he canceled his request for honoraria. He also notes that the YPU just had the cancelation of Vilsack.


Treas says that the Union is still in the black. He also says he is pondering if we can mix of dinner subsidies between Mory’s and Prime 16, perhaps Prime 16 for a half to two- thirds of guest. He also suggests a subsidy of $10.


Miss Libresco says that Eboard lowered it to $8 last year.


Speaker says that Eboard should look at that. He says that we do not know how much Mory’s cost and that it will effect our decision.


CPR says Mory’s has sandwiches for $7.50.


Speaker notes that those are the prices for lunch.


Treas says that for a one time even the subsidy could be brought up to $12.


Speaker says he want to wait to see Mory’s cost.


VP says he would like keep the subsidy $10 for tomorrow and see if Mory’s offers lunch or dinner choices.


CIP asks how tomorrow is working.


Pres says that Mory’s is selecting three dishes.


Treas says he prefer a $8 subsidy in most circumstances. He says that there has to be an amendment to the budget that includes the reduction in price for Rove, the increase for Brown, and an increase in cost for Vilsack’s cancelation.


Treas moves to amend the Fall 2010 budget to account for revised cost for the Rove, Brown, Vilsack debates.

The motion is seconded and passes without objection.


DCR says that WYBC will not start until Sept 18th. She wants to find a new radio person before then, as he or she would need to be trained.


CPP says that Karl Chen has a show; perhaps he could fill the position.


DDR notes the person would have to stay at event for whole time.


CPL says it needs to be two people, one for equipment and one to repeat things not near the microphone.


Pres says he wants the radio up and running incase of the need for overflow room, and for families of members.


Speaker asks whether copies of the audio are available or will be available.


DDR says he thought it was a live-stream.


Miss Libresco says that WYBC had implied there would be copies, but there are no copies available.


Pres changing the topic and says that he was contacted by the College Democrats about a voter registration drive on October 9th. He says they want many various groups, including the YPU, to be behind the drive. He says that he tolds the Democrats that the YPU was pretty solidly against.




Pres says he wants to hear opinions and wants to know why the College Republicans were not involved.


Mr. Weltmer says the YPU cannot support partisan groups, or risk losing tax exempt status.


Miss Libresco notes that last time the Republicans s did not help, because they argued “more voters help poor people.”


Pres says that some have expressed interest in a guest in the negative. He says that Mr. Kohn approached him about the idea.


CPR says that last year we did a debate in which the guest gave a speech in the affirmative, and then had a student give a long speech in the negative.


Pres says that Mr. Kohn wanted a student and then the guest.


CPL says that it seem like it could raise a number of problems. He says that in general it could work, but we would then have to find a guest who would go second, and a student who wants to go first.


CPP says there is also the issue of responsiveness; guest often have prepared speech.


Pres says the issue is trying to keep the guest involved with the debate. He says he “is not a fan for the fall,” but would be willing to try in the spring.


CIP says it does not fix the exodus, just delays it by one speech.


VP says he agrees with CIP; if someone is there for the guest, they are there for guest. He notes it would not work with high profile guest.




CCP says he thinks it is a fairly good idea. He likes putting more emphasis on the debate rather than the speaker. He notes the YPU should focus on trying to get good debate and should not focus on people who come only for the speaker.


FFL says maybe the fall term is not the time to try it, but that there would be nothing to lose with trying it in spring.


Pres says he will cut discussion there for the sake of time. He says he will talk to Adcomm and will put it on hold. He notes the joint debate with YHHAP first week in November. He says that if anyone thoughts on homelessness guest to contact him. He also notes that November 16th is also open, preferably for a New England area guest.


VP moves to adjourn.

The motion is seconded and passes without object


This meeting of the Executive Committee of the Yale Political Union was adjourned at 4:32 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,

Cameron Ellis Rotblat

Secretary of the Yale Political Union