Oregon State University Socratic Club Debate Cancelled

The Daily Barometer

The Oregon State University Socratic Club’s planned debate for Feb. 24 titled “Is Gender a Choice?” was cancelled after the group received threats of protests from the community in addition to the one of the two main debaters dropping out in the lead up to the event.

In a prepared statement, the Socratic Club said,

“The Oregon State University Socratic Club recently cancelled our event on the topic “Is Gender a Choice?,” which had been scheduled for February 24th. One of our speakers withdrew for personal reasons. Our speaker felt uncomfortable participating because of reports that the event would be protested by members of the transgender community. We respect the decision of our speaker and have therefore cancelled our event.

At this time we know little else about who it was that expressed a desire to protest our event, or whether any such report is accurate. We have begun the process of reaching out to those protesters with the hope of engaging in a civil dialogue about our views. As students at Oregon State and as members of the Socratic Club we desire that a wide variety of ideas be brought to the table so that there may be a rigorous, civil and respectful conversation, with the goal of arriving at a greater understanding of the truth. This has always been the intention of the Socratic Club and will continue to be at future events.”

Minister Martin Emmrich of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Corvallis was scheduled to be one of the debaters,but could not be reached for comment. Susan Shaw, the other debater, declined to comment.

The Socratic Club has held debates in the past over topics such as ‘Abortion: A Legal Right or Moral Wrong?’, ‘Is Christian Belief Conducive to Doing Good Science?’ and ‘Why Does God Allow Evil?’

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