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The Daily Tar Heel

College Republicans and Young Democrats face off in debate

Discuss budget, drugs, violence

Photo: Students face off in debate (Elizabeth Mendoza)
The Young Republicans and Democrats held a political debate in Bingham Hall.

When the College Republicans and Young Democrats get together, passions flair.

At the spring debate between the two groups moderated by the Dialectic and Philanthropic Societies, questions about policy were laced with a competitive fever.

Topics addressed at the debate were diverse, ranging from the admission of out-of-state students to Mexican gang violence, with each side fiercely defending party opinions.

The debate was the second to be hosted by Di-Phi this academic year.

Austin Gilmore, political director of the Young Democrats, opened the debate by saying it would become apparent that Democrats best embodied the ideals of the Constitution as the debate progressed.

“GOP tries to cut programs that apply to women and minorities,” he said. “They divide our people.”

The first issue raised concerned a conflict south of the Mexican border. Both sides were asked what the United States should do to combat Mexican gang violence.

Representatives from the College Republicans argued that the U.S. government should legalize drugs, adding that drug abuse was a health problem, not a criminal problem.

The Young Democrats rebutted by saying that they would find few Republicans who would actually support that idea.

College Republican speakers included Anthony Dent, Zach Dexter and Garrett Jacobs. Speakers from Young Democrats were Jeff DeLuca, Gilmore and Sam Hughes.

Throughout the evening, representatives from the College Republicans offered consistent criticism of President Barack Obama’s initiatives and foreign policy decisions.

“Frankly, he just has bad ideas,” said Dent, former chairman of College Republicans.

“We have a more mature way of approaching politics. Instead of vilifying our opposition, we offer clear-cut solutions to our problems.”

When asked whether the University should increase the proportion of out-of-state students to help combat financial troubles, both groups said efforts should be cautious, agreeing that the University was created to nurture future leaders of North Carolina.

Responses to the question then veered toward cuts in education advocated by N.C. Republicans.

Representatives from the Young Democrats argued that the state should be pushing education right now. The statement was followed by an outburst from the College Republicans, arguing that there is no money for the University in the budget right now.

But to end the debate, both sides were in agreement on one question: Who will win the NCAA championship and why?

Virginia Commonwealth University had a consensus.

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