Wooster Students in the Spotlight at Debating for Democracy National Conference

One of five teams selected to present policy ideas at NYC event

February 24, 2012 by John Hopkins

WOOSTER, Ohio, Feb. 24, 2012 – Two College of Wooster students have been selected to participate in the 2012 Debating for Democracy national conference at The New School in New York City next month.

Daniel Cohen, a sophomore political science and communication studies double major from Beavercreek, Ohio, and Andrea Patton, a sophomore political science major from Hebron, Ky., co-authored “A Letter to Sen. Sherrod Brown in Support of the Fair Elections Now Act.”  They will present the policy ideas contained in that letter to a panel of former elected officials, including former Senators Paul Sarbanes and Harris Wofford, at a mock legislative hearing on March 22.

Cohen and Patton were one of five, two-person teams selected from a field of more than 50 to present their proposals at the conference, which is sponsored by Project Pericles. The other four schools represented are Berea College, Earlham College, Hendrix College, and Widener University.

At the March 22 legislative hearing, one of the five teams will be selected to receive a $3,000 award to develop an advocacy program related to their issue. The other four teams will receive $500 awards for the same purpose.

“Daniel and Andrea are very actively involved in promoting civic engagement on campus,” said Thomas Tierney, associate professor of sociology. “Last fall they organized and ran a ‘Wooster Solves the Budget Crisis’ program, in which students debated various strategies for reducing the federal budget deficit, and used an online program that allowed them to manipulate the distribution of resources throughout the budget. They are ideal representatives of the college to this conference.”

Patton is a member of Wooster’s Student Government Association and went to the nationals this year with the college’s moot court team. Cohen was also a national qualifier in moot court and serves as treasurer of the College Democrats.

The College of Wooster is America’s premier college for mentored undergraduate research. Every Wooster senior works one-on-one with a faculty adviser to create an original research project, written work, performance or art exhibit. In the process, each develops independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.