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Idaho State’s Rupp Debate to host public debate about women’s suffrage movement

October 28, 2020

POCATELLO — The Idaho State University Rupp Debate Society will join the Idaho Women 100 Celebration with a public debate featuring historical arguments about the suffrage movement. “100 Years Later: The 19th Amendment and Women’s Right to Vote” will livestream online Thursday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.

Squad members will deliver arguments representing both pro- and anti-suffrage positions that were common prior to the passage of the 19th Amendment. While the event is not a re-enactment of any particular debate, the arguments made are drawn from essays and materials researched from the era, and they present historically accurate stances of the period.

The public is encouraged to attend the debate, which will take place on the team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/idahostatedebate. Online participants will be able to chat and pose questions electronically during the open cross examination, facilitated by the moderator.

Four students, two favoring adoption of the 19th Amendment, and two opposing it, will argue and support four initial positions to frame the discussion, after which they will take questions from the moderator and finally close the presentation with short speeches. The event will last approximately one hour.

Unique to this debate is that today’s norms and period norms of 100 years ago deeply differ. Race and gender issues, women’s rights, and other elements have challenged debaters to frame historically accurate statements that befit the topic while honoring the sensitivities of modern conversation.

Elizabeth Brunner will moderate the debate. An assistant professor at Idaho State, Brunner’s areas of emphasis include visual rhetoric, media studies and social movements.

The Idaho Women 100 Celebration marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted most American women the right to vote. Idaho Women in Leadership and the Idaho State Historical Society convened organizations statewide to assist in celebration of the momentous event (idahowomen100.com).

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