BINGHAMTON, NY – Binghamton University will host The You Defend It Debate Series, a series of debates featuring high-profile public figures discussing topics that are of national and state importance.

The first debate will take place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Anderson Center Chamber Hall, on campus. The topic is "Opposing Views on Treatment Philosophies for Heroin Addiction." The debaters include John Barry, executive director of the Southern Tier Aids Program and supporter of safe injection sites for heroin users; and Alan Wilmarth, executive director of New Horizons Alcohol & Chemical Dependency Treatment Center, who opposes safe injection sites.

The second debate will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, in room 120 of the University Union, on campus.  The topic is "Gun Laws in New York and Nationally." The debaters ill be Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, New York State’s oldest and largest gun rights organization; and Leah Gunn Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, the state’s largest grass-roots gun control organization.

Debates will focus on the consequences that the public will actually face depending on how the issue is resolved by Congress and/or the state legislature. Accordingly, debaters will be required to defend their own positions, rather than attack their opponents. 

The You Defend It Debate Series is co-sponsored by the Binghamton University Speech and Debate Team and Defend It, Inc.

For more information, contact Joe Leeson Schataz, director of the Binghamton University Speech and Debate Team, at debate@binghamton.edu.