Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Democrats, Republicans Debate Policy, Pragmatics

Six Georgetown University students debated economic, foreign and social policy at the annual first-year debate hosted April 16 by the Georgetown Bipartisan Coalition, an undergraduate organization dedicated to bridging the aisle to fight political polarization

At the event, three first-year members of the Georgetown University College Democrats (GUCD) faced a team of three Georgetown University College Republicans (GUCR). The debate consisted of three rounds — economic, foreign and social policy — with questions alternating between sides followed by rebuttal and time for audience questions.

Shemaiah DeJorge (CAS ’27) attended the event and said that such open-minded dialogues are essential to a well-functioning democracy.

“Forums like this debate pierce our bubbles and enable us to see those on the other side for the people that they are, and not the monsters that our echo chambers paint them to be,” DeJorge told The Hoya.

The Bipartisan Coalition sought to make problems relevant to the campus community a central theme of the debate. In the context of a forthcoming 4.5% tuition increase at Georgetown, the moderator first asked debaters if the government or private universities should bear the financial burden of making higher education more accessible for the middle class

Michael Korvyakov (MSB ’27), who debated on behalf of GUCR on the economic policy round, said he felt the damaging impact of government intervention would be prohibitive to a successful public intervention.

“Government subsidies are proven to increase cost,” Korvyakov said during the debate. “The answer to increasing tuition is less government intervention.”

Adi Vishahan (CAS ’27), the GUCD counterpart for the question, took the opposing stance and said that both the private and public sectors have roles to play in making college more attainable for lower and middle-income earners.

“College is unaffordable. Both the government and private institutions need to do more,” Vishahan said during the debate.

Madison Fox-Moore/The Hoya | The Georgetown University Bipartisan Coalition hosted its annual first-year debate on April 16.

The second section of the debate turned toward foreign policy. The first question centered on whether or not the United States should send aid to Ukraine in its efforts following the February 2022 Russian invasion

Knox Graham (SFS ’27), a GUCR speaker, said that the Republican Party is cognizant of the need to aid Ukraine but worries over the long-term implications of funding.

“It is necessary for Ukraine to get aid, but we do need to look at the long-term prospects. It is likely that Ukraine is going to lose regardless of whether the Americans support Ukraine or not,” Graham said during the debate.

James Nichols-Worley (CAS ’27), the foreign policy speaker for GUCD, strongly opposed his counterpart’s ambivalence on aid to Ukraine.

“American ammunition and Ukrainian manpower will decide the fate of the free world,” Nichols-Worley said during the debate.

The debate’s formal questioning concluded with a discussion of social topics ranging from abortion to free speech on college campuses, which Alexis Childs (SFS ’27), a representative of GUCR, and Sydney Carroll (CAS ’27), a representative of GUCD, led.

Georgetown student Muhammad Usman (SCS ’25) said the debate showcased a combination of practical fluency in current events and an ability to hear other perspectives.

“The debate showed their passion for politics and how up-to-date they were with the current political atmosphere,” Usman told The Hoya. “I loved to see the mutual respect they had for each other despite having different political views, which is something that is rarely seen nowadays.”

Usman said that by the end of the event, he walked away impressed with the caliber of debate from first-year students.

“I enjoyed the debate between the first-year students from GUCD and GUCR,” Usman said. “I am happy to see the future of our country and our university is in bright hands.”

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