JANUS Forum pushes for policy in a year of insults

By Jake Gold, Senior Staff Writer

“The College Dems are sitting on this side!”

Even in a policy debate, the small crowd in Pearson 128 couldn’t avoid the polarization of party politics. On one side — stage left, symbolically — Nick Froehlich and Sarah Seigel represented the College Democrats, with their club members sitting front of them.

Stage right, Caleb Stidham and Imani Fields from the College Republicans. Off to the side, a cardboard cutout of Ronald Reagan stood, watching.

“[This is] an opportunity to share our side of the aisle without any extra baggage that comes with scandal politics, which is the norm these days in the mainstream media,” Froehlich said.

The JANUS Forum policy debate between the College Democrats and the College Republicans touched on three major topics: healthcare, foreign policy and education.

JANUS Forum president Kirsten Fowler, who moderated the debate, accepted three questions from the audience. The topics were climate change, the national debt and the 9/11 victims bill.

“I think this a unique time in American politics and students have a lot of opinions on that,” Fowler said. “I think this is a great forum for students to express those in a polite and thoughtful way.”

Fowler posed some questions to both the College Democrats and the College Republicans. Other questions were directed specifically at one club. Each team was given two minutes to respond, and the opposing side recieved two minutes to rebut. This gave both teams enough time to properly convey their ideas.

“I think it went very well,” Stidham said. “I think both sides presented their case to the best of their ability and I think it really gave the audience a clear sense of contrast.”

After the closing statements, the audience joined together onstage to enjoy the free pizza. In these partisan times, at least there’s one thing that can still unite us.