With social media abuzz over President Obama’s possible speech on campus this Thursday, the NU Political Union discussed the president’s foreign policy choices these past six years while eating delicious pancakes in the Buffett Center Monday night.
The meeting began with a resolution – “President Obama’s Foreign Policy has Emboldened America’s Rivals” – and then launched into arguments by the party leaders who represented the views of the right, left and center.
Students with majors ranging from political science and history to mechanical engineering and music all brought in their opinions and former knowledge to the debate. Students discussed Obama's handling of U.S. foreign policy issues, from the aftermath of the Iraqi war to questionable decision-making with the Crimean peninsula and Syria. The discussion stayed fairly light and informal throughout, despite the range of opinions presented.
“It’s a good way to learn about what’s happening in the world and hear from interesting people,” Weinberg sophomore Maria Fantozzi said. “I like being able to talk about current issues without getting in big arguments about them.”
Both veterans and newcomers participated in the roundtable discussion. The original vote had the majority of students abstaining from a position, but after hearing the arguments and discussing, the majority shifted toward support of the president, opposing the original resolution. Of the 41 members who showed up, all but one had chosen a side by the end of the discussion.
The Political Union hosts weekly student debates, though sadly, the following meetings will not be accompanied with late-night breakfast food. Along with these debates, the group also hosts a variety of speakers throughout the year – among last year’s guests, Rahm Emmanuel and our own Morton Schapiro. The union also hosts "Civics & Snacks," a discussion over current issues with a Northwestern professor, once a month.