Emory Report
Sept. 18, 2006
Volume 59, Number 4


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Sept. 18, 2006
Sept. 18 Constitution Day: Barkley Forum Debate to examine fundamental First Amendment

BY Beverly Clark

Emory’s nationally renowned debate society, the Barkley Forum, will mark the University’s second annual Constitution Day with a debate on one of our most cherished rights: freedom of speech.

Both current Barkley Forum members and alumni will tackle the question “Has the First Amendment Outlived Its Usefulness?” in a debate moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, Emory’s new Cox Professor of Journalism. The event will take place Monday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., in Harland Cinema in the Dobbs Center.

“The Barkley Forum is home to some of the best debaters in the country, and this is a rare opportunity to see them in action,” said Karen Salisbury, director of the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement, which is sponsoring the event. The event is also part of an ongoing celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the reestablishment of Emory’s journalism program, Salisbury said.

The debate will differ from the usual rapid delivery style of competitive debate and will be more audience friendly, said Bill Newnam, associate director of debate at Emory.

“In light of current events, we thought the topic would be an insightful and informative way to approach Constitution Day,” Newnam said.

Constitution Day was established in 2004 through legislation developed by U.S. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia as a way to honor the ratification of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.