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CMU Civic Forum announces debate on national popular vote versus Electoral College

CMU will host Steamboat Institute’s Campus Liberty Tour Debate Series

Colorado Mesa University’s ongoing effort to create hands-on civic engagement opportunities for students and the community will take the form of policy debate on Wednesday, October 9 from 5:30 to 7pm in Love Recital hall at CMU. The debate is part of the Steamboat Institute’s Campus Liberty Tour and is titled How Should We Elect Our President? 

The forum is open to the public and will be moderated by Jay Seaton, Publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

“CMU is committed to forming partnerships that engage students and the community in policy discussions that shape the future of civil society and democracy,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “Institutions like the Electoral College fall into that space and we are excited to host this debate in conjunction with the Steamboat Institute.” 

The debate will feature the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Executive Director Trent England and Ted Trimpa, principle and CEO of The Trimpa Group, LLC, a political consulting firm with offices in Denver and Washington, D.C. 

In 2019, the Colorado Legislature passed legislation allocating Colorado’s electoral vote to the winner of the national popular vote. The legislation has implications for the future of the executive branch of government in the United States. Providing thoughtful public dialogue in relation to modification of the Electoral College is the purpose of the debate.

Jennifer Schubert-Akin, CEO and co-founder of the Steamboat Institute believes that for democracy to thrive, policy discussion and policy making must go beyond the confines of soundbites and simplistic ideologies. 

“Our desire for this debate at CMU is that people from a diversity of political perspectives attend and engage,” said Schubert-Akin. “When Americans challenge each other’s perspectives, we by default celebrate democracy and learn from one another about how today’s decisions affect the future.” 

In 2018, the CMU Civic Forum showcased civic engagement opportunities including hosting the U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit and the forum held for the first time a statewide gubernatorial debate produced by CMU students in partnership with Rocky Mountain PBS. In addition, the CMU Civic Forum invited a number of national speakers, civil rights leaders, policy makers, elected officials and guest lecturers. In 2019, the Civic Forum initiative hosted Equity Project civil rights leader Nita Mosby Tyler and coordinated the CMU annual Holocaust Awareness Series as well as national speaker and Martin Luther King Jr. performer Stephon Ferguson. 

CMU Vice President of Intergovernmental and Community Affairs Derek Wagner believes the CMU Civic Forum can partner with organizations from all political points of view to ensure higher education maximizes its role in advancing democracy. 

“President Foster has already had discussions with some of Colorado’s premier civic organizations and a variety of national thought leaders during the recent Capital Conference in Washington, D.C. In future years, CMU plans to leverage our tremendous facilities and faculty expertise and community partnership to build capacity for a better civil discourse in western Colorado.” 

The Electoral College debate is slated as part of the institutes’ campus liberty tour that includes a series of debates meant to educate people on both sides of timely policy discussions. 

Community members interested in attending the debate should register by clicking here.

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Written by David Ludlam