The Great Debates Series is designed to develop proactive, informed and conscientious citizens and future leaders by providing a forum for respectful and substantive discussion of contentious issues relevant in today’s world. The series will exemplify civil discourse within our campus community through organized debates, hosted by an academic school, Speech and Debate Club at UCI or administrative unit. The topics selected for debate will be relevant and interesting for students, staff and faculty**. A post-debate reception will follow each event so participants can delve deeper into the topic, explore communication styles, or simply enjoy good conversation.
*** The positions taken by debaters during debates do not necessarily reflect their personal viewpoints.
Topic: California Proposition 209: Dead End or Blueprint for the Future?
Since 1996, California Proposition 209 has mandated that the state “shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” The implementation of this proposition resulted in an immediate decline in the admission rates for under-represented minorities at the University of California. Now, over twenty years later, as the nation’s courts continue to consider affirmative action in college admissions, the question is whether California’s unique path has been a dead-end or provides a blueprint for the future. Have the campuses of the University of California changed for the better or the worse since Proposition 209? Has there been overall an improvement or a deterioration in educational opportunities for students from a variety of backgrounds?
Featuring: David Pan, Professor of German and Chair of European Languages and Studies, European Languages and Studies