Recent visits to CU-Boulder by Jane Goodall, ice cream moguls Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, author Azar Nafisi and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz would alone have made for a vivid reminder that universities enable learning partly by convening people for the provocative exchange of ideas.
Then 13 men and one woman arrived for an especially feisty display of rhetorical jousting at Coors Events Center. One was named Trump, another Bush. The woman was Carly Fiorina.
The third debate of the current Republican presidential primary contest, “Your Money, Your Vote,” held on campus Oct. 28 and co-moderated by CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla (PolSci’93), was not without controversy. Given CU’s role as host, some people on campus felt more students and faculty should have been among the live audience.
Still, by hosting the debate on campus CU generated an intense local burst of political awareness, discussion and engagement a year ahead of the election. That’s worth noting.