CSU, Chico News

Butte College Students Join CSU, Chico Students in This Year’s ‘Great Debate’

Date: 10-19-2012

Cassandra Jones
Public Affairs Editorial Intern
Zach Justus
Communication Arts and Sciences

California State University, Chico students, community members and, for the first time, Butte College students will participate in this year’s Great Debate on Friday, Nov. 2, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This year’s topic is government spending and taxation. Students will be discussing and presenting on tax havens, tax rates, Medicaid/Medicare, law enforcement, drug policy, welfare spending, Proposition 30 and a variety of local issues.

The debates, presentations and student panels will be held in Chico City Hall chambers, 421 Main St., and are free and open to the public.

Throughout the day, students from various communication studies classes will give presentations and participate in debates about this year’s topic. At the Civic Expo, held on the patio in front of the council chambers, community members will have the opportunity to learn more about spending and taxation and interact with students.

Zach Justus, professor of communication studies and coordinator of the Chico Great Debate, said the Republican Party and the Democratic Party will also have tables at the expo.

The day will also include a City Council Candidate Forum in which candidates will address local spending and taxation issues. This will take place from noon to 2 p.m. in the Downtown City Plaza.

The main event of the evening will be “Should California Pass Proposition 30?” which will take place at 6:30 p.m. in Chico City Hall.

The purpose of the Chico Great Debate is to bring together members of the campus and community to investigate a topic or issue that has the potential to divide citizens. The day of presentations, panels and debates stresses active listening, respectful exchange and collaborative civic learning through civil discourse.

The Great Debate is a part of the First-Year Experience Program, which has also sponsored community town hall meetings led by students since 2006. The First-Year Experience Program is designed to assist first-year students succeed in their transition to university life and become active community participants.

Prior Chico Great Debate topics include free speech, education reform and legalizing marijuana.

For more information about the Chico Great Debate, go to http://www.csuchico.edu/fye/Public_Sphere_Work/greatdebate/index.shtml.