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Speech & Debate Society Named Voter Education Partner

Because of its commitment to providing forums for educating undergraduates about the election, the Penn State Speech & Debate Society was named a Voter Education Partner by the Commission on Presidential Debates, the organization responsible for hosting the presidential debates every election. Groups are named for their commitment of "promoting an informed and engaged citizenry" during the election by hosting Presidential DebateWatches and other election-related events.

This fall semester, the Speech & Debate Society is organizing a diverse number of events reflecting that goal. Earlier this month, they moderated a debate between the College Democrats and College Republicans, and they will be moderating an additional debate between the clubs on September 28th. Additionally, they are moderating a debate between the clubs supporting the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Donald Trump campaign on September 27th. "These events provide a great forum for students to learn about the election and help spark conversations on campus," says J. Kurr, the Director of Debate for the Speech & Debate Society and a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Communication Arts and Sciences.  

The Speech & Debate Society is also hosting Presidential DebateWatch parties for the three presidential debates and the vice-presidential debate. The first debate watch party on September 26th begins at 8:30pm in the Flex Theater (132 HUB). Neema Esfandi, the president of the Speech & Debate Society and a CAS major, will lead a discussion about expectations for the debate and reactions following the debate. "The debate watches foster interest in our political system," Esfandi says, "That is key to inspiring people to take action in their communities and their country as a whole."

Thanks to the support for the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, the Speech & Debate Society will also hosting similar watch parties on October 4th, October 9th, and October 19th for the other debates, all of which are open to the public.