Political Debates Hosted by A&M International Students

Texas A&M International University students will have a first-hand look at the political process with the presentation of a series of professional debates hosted by the University's Criminal Justice Association.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23 from 7-8:30 p.m., the group will host an open debate by candidates for the 406th District Court.

On Friday, Feb. 25, also from 7-8:30 p.m., candidates for the District Attorney race will debate.

All debates will take place in the Great Room of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library and are free of charge and open to the public.

The Criminal Justice Association is a University-sanctioned student club sponsored by faculty member Dr. Delilah Dotremon, assistant professor of criminal justice.

Edgar Garza, CJA spokesperson, said the group is committed to presenting a professionally-styled debate and will be guided by a nine-point Rules of Debate.

"This will be a panel-driven debate with a moderator and four-member panel of impartial members of the community posing questions to the candidates. Candidates will have three minutes to respond to questions with no rebuttal period. Questions will only be asked by the panelists and heckling will be strictly prohibited. There will be no propaganda or picketing permitted on campus. Finally, closing arguments will be limited to three minutes.The Rules of Debate will be clearly posted on site," Garza explained.

Garza noted that the CJA is happy to be able to host the debate and hopes that University students and community members alike will attend and observe what are the only candidate debates scheduled to date.

"This is part of the political process and we are fortunate that our campus allows a forum for student discussion and exploration with the candidates of issues important to us all. This is a rare privilege for us as students and we hope that its value is appreciated by the community at large," Garza explained.

Scheduled to participate in the debate for 406th District Court Judge are Mary Guevara Capello, Eddie Pena and Andres Reyes.

Scheduled to participate in the debate for District Attorney are Ana Laura Cavazos Ramirez, Albert Gutierrez and Joe Rubio.

For additional information, please contact CJA spokesperson Edgar Garza at 717-1517 or Yolanda Castillo at yolacast@hotmail.com.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu