MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING OF
THE YALE POLITICAL UNION
26th September 2010
The Executive Board meeting of the Yale Political Union held on Sunday 26th 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)
Chair 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
Mr. Jeremy Weltmer
Pres provides a recap of the Freshmen Prize debate. He says it was a balanced debate with an effective resolution. He calls it one of most fun debates he has seen. He would like to here other reactions.
FLR says he would like to hear feedback about the foreign policy resolution. He says that in is open the narrowed scope of the resolution prevented a good debate on philosophy
Mr Gerken says using the term democracy allowed for more philosophical route, but the freshmen chose not to take it.”
CPL says he thought the debate had the same balance of policy and philosophy as previous Freshmen Prize debates. He says that he “thinks this belief in empiricism is a freshmen foible.”
CIP says the resolution “prevent speeches that flopped but also prevented very noticeable highs.” She labels the speeches as “Uniformly medium-high.”
CPR says she disagrees with CIP. She says she though that winning speeches were better than in previous years. She believes debates with policy focus are better for freshmen.
Speaker says it was “the best Freshmen Prize I have seen.” He says he believes the freshmen had thought more about topic than in most years. He believes that there was more preparation. He said there were no really horrible speeches, unlike last year.
CPL says he thought the ice cream event helped. He also notes that most of the questions seemed like honest questions, rather than questions to ask questions.
Pres asks what people would think about a second prize or student debate in the fall term. He says he really enjoyed the prize debate.
Speaker says he would be in favor of a student debate to help the VP. He says he does not see a pressing need for another prize debate. He says it is hard to sit through two evenings of 60 speeches.
Pres says that a second student debate seems like a good option to make scheduling easier. He also asks about thoughts on the judging ballots.
VP notes that the judges added correctly, which made it much better than previous years.
Speaker says it was easier to tell freshmen what they would be judged on.
Pres discusses this weeks debate, “Resolved: Wikileaks should not have published classified documents.” He notes he finds the topic timely. He says the debate will be in Sudler on Tuesday Sept 28th at 7:30.
Speaker asks party chairs to “please help find people to speak.” He notes freshmen are free to speaker. He says it will only be effective if people do research before hand. He says speaker’s dinner is tomorrow at 6:00 in TD.
Pres ask whether a formal notion is needed because it was decided by email.
Speaker moves that the YPU debate “Resolved: Wikileaks should not have published classified documents,” on Tuesday September 28th at 7:30 in Sudler Hall.
The motion is seconded and passes without objection.
Pres says that Miss Liebresco has helped Gallagher and Wolfson agree to a resolution. He says that Wolfson will go first and then Gallagher. He says the resolution will be “Same sex couples should be allowed to marry.”
FLL notes that there should be a hyphen between same and sex.
Pres says, “yes.”
CPL asks whether the resolution makes it more difficult to get to idea of marriage. He notes the limited student debate portion. He says that he hopes one or two speeches touch on it.
Speaker says it is not the best resolution, but because “everyone knows what we are talking about, we are not tied to it.”
CPR says that her party is hosting an after-debate reception with Gallagher. She notes that Gallagher loves arguing and all are welcome.
DCR notes she is working on a Master’s Tea with Wolfson.
Speaker discusses the proposal for the joint-debate logistics. He says Wolfson will speak for 15 minutes, then Gallagher for 15 minutes. Wolfson will respond for 5 minutes and then Gallagher for 5 minutes. He says that there will then be a segment for students to ask questions to either guest. He says that then there will be student speeches. He says it will probably be about 6 student speeches rather than the usual than 8 to 10. He says there will be 5 to 8 minute closing remarks from Gallagher and Wolfson.
CPR asks about having a docket for the student debate.
Speaker says, ”Yes.”
CPR says a docket seems like a bad idea and she feels that it would kill the energy.
VP says he sees it as a concern. He has a coughing attack. He says, “come back to me.”
CPL says he sees the concern, but he does not find it that much of a concern because the time for speakers is short. He says it might be worth considering a docket of two speeches.
Pres argues that some docket might be necessary, but that it should be restricted.
CIP says that the rebuttal period allows for shifts in direction. She argues that it might not be good idea to have a docket.
CPR says, “people want to talk, we are a debating society not a lecturing society.” She says that six docketed speeches feels like a lecture.
Pres takes a straw poll on having a docket
CPL says he has no critical concerns. He feels having a framing might be a good idea, but he is not heart broken.
Speaker says he wants a short docket, to insure that the student debate will go in a reasonable direction.
FLR says that people have very definite opinions.
DCR says she wants a shadow docket, with people who know what they will say, but will not necessarily be called on.
CPL says that he is very against “a shadow docket, a docket in the shadows.”
CIP says that “shadow docket is not best term” but she understands that it is useful in prepping. “It is not horrible and scary, but the term shadow docket is”
Pres says there will be no docket, but he hopes for a strong speaker’s dinner.
CLP asks about the decision not to allow questions after the 15 min speeches.
FLR says the consensus was that it would break up the energy and rhythm of guest speeches.
CCP asks about having only 2 or 3 question between speeches, an abbreviated round.
FLR says that it combines worse elements of both, not getting at much while still breaking up the flow.
DD asks if questions will be directed at both or one of the guests.
Speaker says he will allow either.
VP moves that the YPU debate “Resolved: Same sex couples should be allowed to marry,” on October 6th with Maggie Gallagher and Evan Wolfson, in Sudler Hall at 7:30pm, free and open to the public.
The motion is seconded and passes without objection.
Speaker says that given the debate is in Sudler, it would be wise to let in Union members first and then other people. He notes that Wolfson is encouraging people from “Freedom to Marry” to attend.
Pres directs chairs to encourage members to come as early as possible.
Speaker says that everyone should buy memberships, as they need to get one at some point to count as a member.
DDR ask if there will be seats sectioned for YPU members.
Pres says he is against it.
VP moves that YPU debate “Cancel cable news” with Aaron Brown on Oct 12th, in Sudler Hall at 7:30pm, free and open to the public.
The motion is seconded and passes without objection.
Pres discusses the HUS debate. He asks party chairs and chairmen to please mark down who in their party is interested in speaking. He says he needs to send the information to HUS tonight. He says the resolution is “This House believes the Stimulus is a Failure.” He calls it a much better and tamer resolution. He notes that Joe Pasquale also offered “Global Warming does not exist.” Pres says he thinks that the stimulus debate would make for a good debate. He says that those interested in speaking should send him a brief biography of a sentence or two for the HUS newsletter. He asks about preferences for individual tickets or group tickets for Metro North
VP says that there are group discounts.
DD says “that is what we did last time.”
Treas asks about the estimated number of people coming.
DD says that last time 21 attended along with the 4 who debated.
CCP asks about the date of the HUS debate.
Pres says “Oct 19th, a Tuesday.”
VP asks whether the word government is in the resolution. He asks “are we subsidizing tickets?”
Treas asks about the expected number attending and what degree of subsidizing. He notes the tickets were not subsidized last time. He notes the YPU saved a little money with a student debate.
VP says that he was not trying to say “we should or need to subsidize, as tickets are $28 before discount.”
CTP asks “we are in the negative?”
Pres says, “Yes.” He also notes that it will not count as a qualifying debate.
VP discusses the possible resolutions for the Tanner debate on Wednesday November 3rd. He says Tanner works at the Cato institute, a specialist on welfare policy, who deals with welfare programs as a whole. VP says Tanner sent a preview of his speech, an essay on how welfare programs are ineffective and it would be better sending cash to people.
Speaker says Rescomm has three possible resolutions for the Tanner and YHHAP debate. 1) Resolved, Government Welfare Weakens Society. 2) Welfare Programs Are A Waste of Taxpayer Money 3) Welfare recipients should not be given the vote. He calls the third a YPU classic.
Hissing and laughing
CPL says the “first one is far and away the better option. The Second one reminds me of the Rove and Asture debate.”
CIP says she completely agrees with CPL, and that the second resolution has some clunky wording.
CTP says he disagrees. He thinks that the first one is not controversial. He finds the second one seems more powerful.
CPR says she can see a lot of ways that the first could scope out, without requiring too many numbers.
Pres asks for a Starw poll on resolution preferences.
Resolution 1- all but CTP
Resolution 2- CTP
Pres asks whether the Tory Party would be okay with the second resolution.
CTP says, “Yes.”
Pres discusses the debate with Jenifer Levi on Wednesday November 10th. He says that Transweek at Yale is great to work with. He says he expects to see good non-YPU speeches at both this and YHHAP debates.
VP says she is a transgender legal expert. He says he has not researched much beyond that.
Pres asks, “is she transgender?”
Speaker asks, “is she is a lesbian?”
VP says, “I believe she was born a she.”
Speaker offers three resolutions for the Levi debate. A) Resolved, Pass ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) B) Resolved, Transgender People Should Be A Protected Class C) Resolved, Government Should Ban Discrimination On The Basis Of Sexual Orientation.
Speaker says he supports the first because it is an actual issue.
CLP says, “we suck at that.”
CCP asks about having “both this and gay marriage within a month.”
Pres says they “hit at different issues.”
CCP says “yes, technically, but there is an awful lot of debate on sexual legislation.
CIP says that if we were “to do second, would it be a debate about the existence of protected classes.”
CPR says she thinks the third is the best, as hits at very different questions than the marriage debate and it also covers the idea of protected classes.
FLL says he understands the concern of CCP, but says he has gotten so many emails about people interested in these issues.
CTP says “as to third and second, I do not think that anyone would speak on the negative, not in my party.”
CPR says, “some from my party would.”
CPL says that he agrees with CIP, that second resolution would go into a protected debate on protected class. He says the third is more likely to get to role of government and state-ism.
CLP says “we have not had lots of contact with her, can we ask her, to see if she knows what the issues with large splits are.
CPP notes “it is hard for people to promote discrimination.”
Pres asks for a straw poll on those who favor “ban on discrimination.”
In favor- 1
Opposed- all others
Speaker says he could probably drum up speeches but seems like it would not be exciting.
CCP asks, “what is so wrong with the first, besides people having to know about the act.
Pres says, “straight policy debates are tricky.”
CIP says she does not trust that people will research the topic.
CIP says, “Not everyone in this room will even do research.”
CPP asks, “is this really on our agendas? I have never heard of this before.”
CPL argues that no one has brought up the guest yet. He asks which topic speaks to the guest’s expertise.
VP says she is most focused on transgendered rights and healthcare.
Pres says that the best thing to do, because of having a lot of time, is to check with the guest and then have a second Rescomm.
VP says that the fall semester is complete in terms of guest commitments.
Lots of banging.
VP says “John Kerry, Michael Tanner, Levi, Steve King, and Matt Yglesias, a prominent liberal blogger, who will not speak on blogging.” He says he is hoping to have ideas on topics to propose to him.
DCR asks VP to send the information via email.
Speaker says to visit yglesias.thnkprogess.com.
CCP asks, “Mosque?”
CPP says “Israel and Palestine has been in the news.”
Speaker tells chairs and chairmen that if they have topics, preferably foreign policy, they should contact him.
Pres says that Steve King and Yglesias, are very opinionated and can talk on lots of things. He says they could present on almost anything.
CLP says that she likes science and bioethics. She admits that she has no idea what the guests know about science. She says she would be interested.
CLP asks if the guests would have anything to say about the midterm elections.
VP says they will be over by then.
Pres offers congrats to VP for avoiding all of the chaos of last year.
DCR says she has sent out the press secretary application through email. She says she wants secretary from the left and right. She wants to have them do less poster-ing, maybe make a blog post each week to make them feel more involved.
Speaker asks if they can help write press releases.
DCR says that she already writes press release, but the newspapers just do not publish them. She says she wants to make a big poster outside the dinning halls and to visit all dinning halls before the Kerry debate. She also discusses her work on community involvement with Ready Set Launch. She explains that she has two plans. The first is an online database of books YPU members have. She explains that Ready Set Launch works with local high school students with their college applications. She compares the plan to a “Netflicks-like database of books.” She says she considers it non-controversial and feels that it make the YPU look more involved. She says her second project idea is to have seminars on public speaking and communication with high school students. She says she wants to start with the library idea, as it would be easier.
Pres asks if there are any objections.
CPR says that she was DCR and she believes “a lot of community involvement things die.”
CPP says, “is that a good reason not to try it?”
DCR says “even if there are parts that die, then they at RSL can continue with it.”
Pres says DCR should be commended for thinking of “easy things that are non-partisan.”
Pres asks for motions.
Speaker moves to approve all outstanding minutes as amended.
Motion is seconded and passes without objection.
VP moves to adjourn.
This meeting of the Executive Committee of the Yale Political Union was adjourned at 4:29 p.m.
Cameron Ellis Rotblat
Secretary of the Yale Political Union