Dole, Roe part of KPU line up for fall semester
Former presidential candidate Bob Dole will speak at AU over Parents' Weekend, leading a Kennedy Political Union line-up that will bring several politicos to campus this semester.
Kicking off this semester's events is a speech by the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO, Linda Chavez, in the SIS lounge at 7:30 tonight. Other speakers in September include the Israeli ambassador to the US, David Ivry, and poet and social activist Kazim Ali. October will bring Dole and a death penalty debate between Tonya McClary of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and Dudley Sharp of Justice for All. In November, the Director of Amnesty International, William Schultz, and Norma Jane McCorvey, known in legal history as Jane Roe from the Roe v. Wade court battle over abortion, will be speaking on campus.
"In essence, the overwriting idea is diversity," KPU co-director Joel Sanchez-Cornielle said. "With the speakers we have, we've tried to bring not just a diversity in gender or race, but also in ideas, which is why we have a death penalty debate and why we have the subject of abortion."
The focus of this semester's speeches center on political issues because of the upcoming elections, Sanchez-Cornielle said.
"This semester has much of a political angle," Sanchez-Cornielle said. "In the spring, we plan to bring other topics and not just politics."
In a departure from KPU's normal single speaker event, or occasionally co-sponsored panel discussion, KPU is hosting a debate on the topic of the death penalty, a technique that Sanchez-Cornielle said he hopes to have again in the future.
"As far as we know, there has never been a debate on campus; we've co-sponsored some panels, but a debate is new for us. In the spring, we hope we can have more panels and maybe a debate then, too," KPU co-director Hilary Whyte, a senior in the School of Communication, said.