10th October 2010

The Executive Board meeting of the Yale Political Union held on Sunday 10th Octover 2010 was called to order at 3:40 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



Marian Homans-Turnbull, proxy-CLP

Mr. William Jordan, proxy-CIP

Mr. Leah Libresco

Mr. Jeremy Weltmer


Pres starts with a discussion of the Gallagher-Wolfson debate.


Speaker says it was “a great debate.” He felt that the guests were terrific, while “the student speeches started out slow but picked up.” He says he has heard mostly positive feedback.


Pres says the DCR deserves “kudos for a full house.” He notes that a number of professors attended including George Chauncey. He also notes a front page YDN story that was “positive and happy.”


FLL says we have to “make sure our debates are about ideas and not people,” and he felt the line was crossed at certain points.


CPR says she felt it was strange, “the way in which we debated Gallagher being a bigot,” but she feels there was little that the FLL could do about it.


FLL reports that people were hissing Gallagher before she even spoke


CTP says that people do that for many guest.


Miss Libresco says, “It depends on the guest and their attitude.” She also feels that we ended up with “right talking about values and left rejecting those values.”


Proxy-CLP says that there was good energy, “which was awesome. “ She says that there was a situation in which a transgendered student was incorrectly addressed which created an uncomfortable situation.


CPL says that the resolution was “framed naturally in an emotional fashion and thus got a lot of people very angry very quickly.” He says he does not have an issue with using the word bigot, if the speaker defends its use.


CPR says she was very happy with the after-party.


Miss Libresco wants to bring up the idea of doing more informal after parties rather than going to Yorkside.


Pres reminds Eboard about the Aaron Brown “Cancel cable news” debate this week and says he wants to get good speeches. He also says wants to publicize the dinner with Aaron Brown before the debate. He also gives a reminder about the HUS debate, he says that people have to go online and register and he believes that by registering they might get a free Forbes subscription. He says he also “wants a scan of how many people might be attending” because it might be enough to purchase a group package for train tickets. He also reports that for the joint YHAPP debate Eboard originally chose “government welfare weakens society” as the debate topic, but that YHAAP wants a stronger focus on homelessness.


Speaker says YHHAP suggested, “Resolved: Homeless are not the government’s problem,” which he finds particularly good for a joint debate resolution. He also offers A) Resolved, The Homeless Are Not The Government’s Problem. B) Resolved, Government Should Not Subsidize Homelessness. C) Resolved, Government Should Not Provide For The Homeless. D) Resolved, Close Government-Run Homeless Shelters.



DCR says we should go with it “because YHAPP is an important group to be on good terms with and it is a good resolution.”


CPP says we should think of making the debate a benefit event, raising money for homelessness.


Speaker says that it would split the Union


Pres says the YHAPP president could announce fund raising.


CPL says that he likes C the best. He says that B is clunky and loaded because of “subsidize homelessness” phrasing. He says, “if YHAPP really likes A I have no problem with it.”


CPR says she agrees with CPL.


CPP says he prefers “society” rather than “government.”


Speaker says the question is about who should deal with the homeless.


Pres says that the first guest speech against government support of homeless should help make a debate.


Straw poll






Pres says the preference is clear. He says “Logan…”




Pres says he will tell Logan to forward the resolution to Tanner and YHHAP.


Pres says that Jennifer Levi sent a suggestion. Pres very quickly reads a 35 plus word resolution very quickly. He says she expresses desire for legal discrimination issues rather than “floaty philosophy.” He offers A) Resolved, College Admissions Should Be Gender Blind. B) Resolved, Extend Gender-Neutral Housing To All Classes

C) Resolved, Institute Gender-Based Affirmative Action.


Proxy-CLP says that gender neutral housing would be able to go in a philosophical direction. She says that the other two require a more practical debate.


CCP says the problem with B is the wording, “too all classes.”


Speaker says he does not see the value in debating classes, as gender-neutral housing is already in the senior class.


CPR says that she is most in favor of B, and cannot see C being a debate on gender because of word “affirmative action.”


CPP ask about other resolutions at Rescomm because he finds college issues trivial


Proxy-CLP says that C would be about employment and not college. She suggests putting “employers” in, to move it to the “adult world.”


CPL says he is not wild about any. He feels that B is the best because it touches on gender without dragging in things like test scores and measurements of equality.


Miss Libresco says that speakers other topic is gay marriage which we already debated, and gender-neutral bathrooms does not seem interesting.


CCP says that A might divide the left. He says he does not see B being very different than the debate last week, as there were a lot of gender-focused speeches.


Proxy-CLP says that the divide would be pragmatic with idealism. She says that B would still produce a different split in that it is a different question. She notes that her party was totally on the same side when they debate this topic.


CPL says that A might split left but only on un-interesting grounds. He argues that it would be debate over marginal differences. He notes that B is far broader than the last debate and more about gender.


Straw poll

College admissions-1

Gender-neutral housing-7

Gender based affirmative action- 2


CTP says he does not see a debate of more than three or four speeches on gender-neutral housing. He argues that C has many ways of approaching the issue.


Miss Libresco says the argues are that it protects the transgendered, erases the concept of gender, puts women in danger, and represents an erosion of morals.


CTP says that no one the right would have a strong opinion. He says, “if we want a gender norms debate we need to have a gender norms debate.” He says, “we are trying to satisfy the guest while having a gender norms debate.”


Speaker says it is important to make the guest happy. He asks about people opposing gender-neutral housing.


CPP says he is totally apathetic to the issue.


CPR says that there was opposition to gender neutral housing.


CPL says he was invited to the Facebook group with Gerken and 50 other people.


CCP says there is a split within right, but not a split in the Union.


Miss Libresco says the argument was about rape and gender roles.


CCP says he feels that C is most interesting but that it is also a different debate, because of the focus on affirmative action.


Treas says he finds affirmative action more interesting.


Miss Libresco starts reading facebook names


CPR notes that most the people on the list spoke last week.


DCR says that employment equality is more interesting to debate.


Speaker says the guest less likely to favor such contentious resolutions, because she is more nuanced. He says perhaps we should send two.


CPR says she is confused about the exact definition of gender and sex.


CTP says sex is biologically determined, gender is not biologically determined.


Proxy-CLP says that the guest’s position seems to be that people have the same gender identity for their entire life. Proxy-CLP says that that “sex-blind” is a better resolution than “gender blind.” She says does not know how likely there is to be a split.


CPR says that people in her party would be interested in an affirmative action debate.


Pres says the resolution would not be about affirmative action.


CPR says the debate would become about “destroying affirmative action.”


DCR asks whether Transweek at Yale has an opinion.


Speaker says he believes the co-sponsorship simply involves being on the schedule.


Proxy-CLP says that the issue is still about whether gender is a division in society.


CTP says it seems the guest is not as interested in talking about gender, but what society should do about it.


CCP says the guest mentioned affirmative action in her suggestion.


CPL asks if the right would be interested in a gender-based affirmative action debate.


CCP says the resolution is more about affirmative action than gender.


CTP argues that so many questions about gender are not interesting to debate because ideas are so entrenched, and argues that “women should not be on the front lines, as a given.”


Pres asks for a straw poll on the possible resolutions


Gender neutral housing-1

Gender based affirmative action-6

Employment should be sex or gender blind-1


Pres says, “gender based affirmative action seems preferred.”


Speaker says we should present it to the guest and if she has any slight rewordings. He notes that he does not like “institute,” but thinks that she might be able to improve it. He does not think there is a strongly supported second choice.


CPL also notes the debate is a month away.


Miss Libresco says that Adcomm needs Nick Geiser to send an email about his long-term focus.


Pres he will ask DD to send a quick email to eboard with an update on what he has been doing.


Pres affirms that he does not like discussions via email, but that sometimes they are necessary. He notes everyone voted in favor of signing the “Elevate Letter.” He explains that he asked that petition say “The Elected Board of the Yale Political Union” instead of just saying Yale Political Union. He notes that it did not seem a good idea to debate it on the floor.


Proxy-CLP says that post-debate debates can sometimes work. She cites the example of “Thane Family Café.”


Pres says he spoke to President of YIRA and that he is interested in joint events.


CPR adds “they have money.”


Pres says that YIRA would like to do a co-sponsored debate. He reports that the President of YIRA proposed an YDA, YPU, MUNTY tri-way debate. Pres does not see it working, but he likes the idea of joint happy hours.


DCR says “booze on them.”


CPL attests to the fact that “the only thing YIRA does well is providing alcohol.” He does not see much else that would be beneficial about working with them.


DCR says that Teddy is interested more in speakers, could look into doing it in spring.


Proxy-CLP says that it “ties into the post-debate event we had with Gallagher.”


Pres says Prime 16 this past week was…




Mr. Weltmer asks about the lunch menu at Mory’s.


Pres says never heard back about it.


Hissing about Mory’s


Speaker says ”it worked well at Prime 16 because of two loud guests.” He notes that we should keep both Prime 16 and Mory’s as possibilities.


Treas asks about holding the Kerry dinner at Mory’s.




Speaker says, “Yes, if at a reduced price.”


Pres says he will look at Prime 16 for Aaron Brown.


Miss Libresco mentions the possibility of two-guest atheism debate. She notes Greg Ganssle and Mark Oppenheimer as two people connected to Yale. She says she is in contact phase, and asks about preference for either.


Speaker says he loves Ganssle but that he is not angry enough for a good debate.


CPP mentions Francis Collins.


Miss Libresco says that his views are not productive for debate.


CPL moves to approve all outstanding minutes as amended.

The motion is seconded and passes without objection.


Speaker moves to adjourn.

The motion is seconded without objection.


This meeting of the Executive Committee of the Yale Political Union was adjourned at 4:31 p.m.



Respectfully submitted,

Cameron Ellis Rotblat

Secretary of the Yale Political Union