Sac State political clubs debate on ISIS, minimum wage

Rian Edington

The College Democrats, the College Republicans, the College Socialists and Young Americans for Liberty faced off in a battle of wits, debating on raising minimum wage, affirmative action and foreign policy.

The debate, held on Oct. 20 in the University Union’s Redwood Room, consisted of a two-minute opening statement, a one-minute rebuttal, a 20-second rebuttal in which the opposition may respond, ending with a three-minute closing argument.

The debate opened with moderator Robert Biegler, a Sacramento State business professor, introducing the the first question: Whether or not there should be a federal minimum wage.

The Democratic and Socialist groups believe a raised minimum wage would benefit workers as well as the economy.

“When employees get higher wages they spend more money, therefore driving up consumption, which allows businesses to expand and create more jobs.” said College Democrat member Tim Sullivan.

Republicans and Libertarians argued against an increase to the minimum wage, stating minimum wage jobs are only for people who are just entering the workforce, and the cost of living fluctuates from city to city.

“Minimum wage isn’t needed because each city has a different cost of living,” said Libertarian club member Nikita Kostyuk.

The second question proposed to the panel was based on the practicality of affirmative action in today’s society. There was also an emphasis on whether affirmative action is needed in California specifically.

“Affirmative action is detrimental to diversity because it sets students up to fail,” College Republican member Shawn Lewis said.

Lewis went on to argue that removing affirmative action would allow for more competent college applicants to apply.

“Affirmative action stands to amend the discrimination that women and people of color face when applying for college and potential jobs,” socialist club member Nyree Hall said.

Democratic Executive Director De’Anthony Jones said, “Affirmative action can only work if it is based on income not on race.”

The third and final question discussed centered around the club’s opinions on how the radicalist Islamic state in Syria is being handled.

Socialist club member Jamier Sale proposed the government focus on the history of Iraq and Syria to determine what caused the issue in the first place.

“Instead of supporting rebels and anti-government fighters we need to be supporting the people the empower themselves so that they can have self determination and democracy in their homeland,” said Sale.

Democratic club member Marcus Wolf said the issue of ISIS is a territorial issue that should be handled by the territories surrounding it.

“ISIS is a territorial threat that poses no existential threat to the United States itself,” said Wolf.

Wolf also mentioned that current responses to ISIS have only seen an increase in their recruitment of young men and women.

Republican club member David Morgan said ISIS is a big threat due to their increase in forces recently.

“We may have to put troops on the ground to help Kurdish troops,” said Morgan.

There was no winner of the debate, however, students who are interested in any of the issues argued or in any of the clubs that participated are encouraged to contact the club presidents.