The Cornell Political Union is only as strong as its individual members. CPU requires each member to evaluate their own opinions, while also recognizing the worth other members’ opinions and beliefs. The diversity of our membership is our greatest strength, and our debates benefit from the wide variety of experiences, viewpoints, and perspectives that our members bring to the dialogue and debate.
Our recruitment process begins with information sessions, where executive board members introduce our organization, and discuss our values, plans, and structure. Information sessions also give potential members the opportunity to get acquainted with current CPU members, who attend as well.
There are two more stages to recruitment: the political round, and the social round. During the political round, applicants will be asked in groups to think critically and debate amongst one another about a series of political topics and philosophical questions. The social round, which is by invite only, allows applicants to interact with members of CPU’s general body and executive board, as well as other applicants, in a more relaxed setting. Applicants will be expected to participate in a group discussion, as respect in discourse is key to our organization.
CPU provides a forum for members to discuss often-contentious topics; thus, it is imperative for our members to value the free exchange of ideas. The dialogue that often occurs at our debates requires members to listen and recognize the value of every other member’s perspective. Generally, our members display strong argumentation skills and demonstrate interest in a wide variety of political topics. Above all, our members demonstrate a commitment to our non-partisan mission by being respectful, kind, and eager to learn.
Non-partisan dialogue may only be fostered with each and every member’s devotion to respectful debate. Especially as our political climate becomes increasingly pugnacious, it is imperative to empower our members with the knowledge, the tools, and the forum to discuss the issues they care about in order to progress.