Cornell University

Educate the Vote: Presidential Election 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016 at 7:30pm

Bailey Hall

Immediately preceding the first U.S. presidential election debate between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump, Cornell will host a live academic debate at 7:30 p.m. Bailey Hall among four prominent political scientists and policy experts on two key domestic policy issues, immigration and incarceration policy, followed by questions from the audience. Gretchen Ritter ’83, the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, will moderate.

At 9 p.m., audience members and panelists will watch the nationally-televised presidential debate on a big screen. Doors open for the event at 6:30 p.m.

Supported by a gift from Jennifer Koen-Horowitz ’93 and Mark Horowitz, the event is free and open to the public. Free tickets are required and will be available starting Sept. 12 at Willard Straight Hall, Robert Purcell Community Center, and the Ithaca Visitors Bureau.

The debaters: 

  • Marc A. Levin, director of the Center for Effective Justice at the think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation and policy director of its Right on Crime initiative;
  • Reihan Salam, executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute Policy fellow; 
  • Karthick Ramakrishnan, professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Riverside;
  • Vesla Mae Weaver, associate professor of African-American studies and political science at Yale University and founding director of Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies Center for the Study of Inequality.

The academic debate will appear live on CornellCast at

In order to create a safe and enjoyable experience for all guests, all bags are subject to search upon entrance into Bailey Hall. Items such as alcohol, weapons of any kind, and other hazardous or unsafe materials will be prohibited. No food or drinks are permitted in the auditorium.

Ticketholders should arrive early for security screening and plan to be seated by 7:20 p.m., at which time any open seats will be made available to those without tickets.


Event sponsors include the American Studies Program, the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, the Center for the Study of Inequality, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Human Ecology, the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, the Cornell Population Center, the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, the ILR School, the Institute for the Social Sciences, the Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, the Office of the Vice Provost, the Program on Ethics and Public Life, the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and Student and Campus Life.

The views and opinions expressed in this debate belong to the panelists and do not reflect those of Cornell University. Cornell University does not endorse political parties or candidates.


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Liz Field

Liz Field left a positive review 9/26/2016

Thanks for providing a space for the larger community to come together and watch the debate live. It's important to build community this election season.