KPU returns to campus

Liana Evrard

President hopes to keep group alive after leaving

The Kent Political Union, a nonpartisan debate group, is returning to campus after a yearlong absence.

The KPU is a “student-led, student-run debate on a specific topic,” KPU president Steven Scerbovsky said.

The group’s director of critical topics chooses each week’s topic, along with researching and fact checking the debate, Scerbovsky said. The president, vice president and editorial board serve as a moderation panel. The debate has no formal structure and will only be interrupted if discussion goes off-topic or derogatory remarks are made.

Scerbovsky is a Republican, while vice president Curt Earich is a Democrat. This is by design, Scerbovsky said, to ensure that no one political viewpoint becomes dominant. He believes such dominance is precisely what destroyed the original organization.

The original KPU became “an extension of the Obama for America campaign,” Scerbovsky joked. The group fell apart Spring in 2008 in the heat of the presidential campaigns. He blamed the KPU’s demise on a lack of the diverse political opinions such a debate requires.

“Any student (of) any political persuasion is welcome to attend,” Scerbovsky stressed.

He added that he hopes to see Socialists, Libertarians and other third-party students join the debate.

Scerbovsky, who will be studying abroad next semester and plans to graduate next summer, said his main goal is to recruit students who will keep the KPU alive after he leaves Kent.

The KPU’s first meeting will be at 8 p.m. in Room 304 of the Student Center. The debate topic will be health care. Next Tuesday the meeting will move to 9 p.m. in Room 310. Scerbovsky said the permanent meeting time will be determined according to group preference.

Contact student politics reporter Liana Evrard at [email protected]