EI Discussions: Campus-wide Debate Reflection

Caleb Parker ’18 – Undergraduate Fellow

“This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” The words of President Eisenhower leave us with the important task to build a society with our fellow Americans where the art of compromise is both utilized and pronounced. The recent campus-wide debate hosted by the Eisenhower Institute provided students the opportunity to represent their political organizations and opinions in an atmosphere constructive for respectful dialogue.

Typically, it would be very difficult to get six different ideologies to come together on campus for one single event. This atmosphere provides the chance to not only offer a free flow of opinions, but also the chance for the campus community to see where their own beliefs might fall along the spectrum and find areas where agreements might occur. One of the questions asked was regarding the status of disaster relief in the hurricane-ravaged areas throughout the Eastern seaboard. Every political group agreed that climate change is an ongoing problem and must be addressed immediately on every level of government. As the co-founder of this debate series, I always get very proud to hear agreements such as this because it demonstrates that the future of our nation is bright when we can find the good in one another and determine compromise all the while.

The Institute’s campus-wide debates have become a tradition on campus. Their impact has provided all ages of students from various levels of experience to represent their clubs and find ways in which they can carry out the legacy and message of Dwight Eisenhower by building a world with a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. As my senior year approaches its last semester, I look forward to hearing about the future of this series as the next generation of Gettysburgians strives diligently to foster this cooperative conversation.

Read more coverage on the event from The Gettysburgian.