Sunday, February 22, 2015

Is Campus Close-Minded? Live Debate in DC, February 24th

From our friends at Intelligence Squared U.S....

Is Campus Close-Minded? Intelligence Squared U.S. Returns to DC on February 24 to Debate Colleges Suppressing Diverse Voices

For many, college is a time to explore ideas and philosophies that challenge one's beliefs. Or is it? Recent cancellations of conservative speakers, rescinded honorary degrees, and scrutiny of certain campus groups have heightened perceptions that there is pervasive liberal intolerance on campuses. Are liberals shutting down speech on campus? Or is this theory a myth, based on the preponderance of liberals at universities rather than intentionally discriminatory actions? On February 24, award-winning debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. returns to Washington DC to address such questions with a debate on the motion "Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity on Campus."

The debaters arguing in favor of the motion are President of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Greg Lukianoff and Kirsten Powers of USA Today and Fox News. Arguing against the motion are historian of student activism Angus Johnston and George Mason professor Jeremy Mayer. The four will debate what college is truly for, and whether academia has a liberal bias that suppresses opposing views.

The debate follows Intelligence Squared U.S.'s 100th debate, which took place in NYC last week. Watch clips here:

Arguing for the motion:

* Greg Lukianoff: President, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate (2014) and Freedom from Speech (2014). He has published articles in Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Stanford Technology Law Review, Chronicle of Higher Education, and numerous other publications. Lukianoff is a frequent guest on local and national syndicated radio programs, has represented FIRE on national television, and has testified before the U.S. Senate about free speech issues on America’s campuses.

* Kirsten Powers: Columnist, USA Today & Contributor, FOX News
Kirsten Powers is a columnist for USA Today and Daily Beast, where she writes about politics, human rights, and faith, and the author of the forthcoming release, The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech. She joined FOX News Channel in 2004 and currently serves as a rotating panelist on Outnumbered and as a network contributor, providing political analysis and commentary across FOX News’s daytime and primetime programming, including Special Report with Bret Baier and FOX News Sunday. From 1993 to 1998, Powers worked as deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for public affairs in the Clinton administration. 

Arguing against the motion:

* Angus Johnston: Historian of Student Activism
Angus Johnston is a historian of American student activism, and of student life and culture more broadly. An advocate of student organizing, he is the founder of the website He teaches history at the City University of New York, where he received his PhD in 2009 with the dissertation “The United States National Student Association: Democracy, Activism, and the Idea of the Student, 1947-1978.” Johnston is particularly interested in student activism beyond the 1960s, in the history of student government, and in the role of students in the university.

* Jeremy Mayer: Assoc. Prof., George Mason & Co-Author, Closed Minds?
Jeremy Mayer is an associate professor and the director of the Master of Public Policy Program in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University. Most recently, he is the co-author of Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities (2008) and co-editor of Media Power, Media Politics, 2nd ed. (2008). He has written articles on diverse topics such as presidential image management, Christian right politics, federalism and gay rights, and comparative political socialization in several journals, and has offered political commentary to major networks and national newspapers. He is a recipient of the Rowman & Littlefield Award in Innovative Teaching for the American Political Science Association, the only national teaching award in political science. 

The debate will also stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated NPR show "Intelligence Squared U.S." On February 24, online viewers can tune in here ( or via IQ2's new app (

WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Liberals Are Stifling Intellectual Diversity On Campus"

WHEN: Tuesday, February 24, 2015, Reception 5:00-5:45 PM, Debate 6:00-7:30 PM

WHERE: Jack Morton Auditorium at George Washington University (in the School of Media and Public Affairs) 805 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20052

TICKETS: $30 ($10 for GW students w/ ID). To purchase, visit

A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. IQ2US reaches millions through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts and interactive digital content. It is one of the top 25 most popular podcasts on iTunes, and has won the 2014 Clarion Award for Radio Regular Feature Program and back-to-back 2013-2014 New York Festivals International Radio Awards for Best Public Affairs Program. The debates have attracted some of the world's top thinkers, including Malcolm Gladwell, Steven Forbes, Dr. Neal Barnard, Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman, and Karl Rove. With 100 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.