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ISU debates Pocatello homeless issue on Feb. 19

February 15, 2019

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POCATELLO – Idaho State University’s award-winning Rupp Debate Society squad will host a public debate on the topic of homelessness in Pocatello on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Pond Student Union Little Wood River Room.

Refreshments will be served. There is no admission fee, and all are invited to attend.

Students will debate the topic of Homelessness in the City of Pocatello.  The city has seen a recent flurry of activity on the topic ranging from the implications of new residential and business development, community growth and non-profit groups looking to create or expand housing to address the homeless issue.

The debate is a modified “public forum” style, featuring one pair of speakers on each side of the issue.  The sides for the debate were determined by a coin toss, and teams have been preparing for several weeks.  Each team will provide an opening position – or case – from their research. After both teams have made initial arguments, each side then takes turns answering cross-examination by the opposition.  A unique feature, the “grand cross examination,” engages audience members in the questioning with the aid of moderator Larry Gebhardt.  Short final presentations will summarize each side’s position.

“We are seeking to expand the dialogue on this important matter, and bring a new and unique view to the table,” said Nick Grunig, the team’s president. “We’ve been talking with many interested parties throughout the community, and have tried to bring their main concerns into a concise debate.”

Audience members will also get in on the action by voting before and after the debate on their opinion of the issue. The function typically lasts about 75 minutes.

The Rupp Debate Society team presents public debates periodically. The most recent function, including those who livestreamed the debate, was viewed by more than 500 local and regional participants.

The Rupp Debate Society is supported by James A. and Sharon E. Rupp, the College of Arts and Letters, the Department of Communication, Media, and Persuasion, and the Associated Students of ISU.


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