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The McKelvy House Scholars invite the campus to join a dinner discussion of the political policies of Hugo Chavez Wednesday evening.

The meal will begin at 6 p.m. at McKelvy House, 200 High Street. Marquis Scholar Michael Werner ’07 (Neenah, Wis.) will lead the discussion at 6:30 p.m.

“Chavez is implementing in Venezuela what many activists and progressives are calling for in the United States, ” says Werner, who is pursuing a B.S. biology degree and an A.B. degree with a geology major. “He was recently received at a United Nations plenary summit by raucous cheering and applause. In fact, many people across the political spectrum openly support Hugo Chavez, including the United States Green Party. In addition, his reforms have sparked grassroots efforts around the world.”

Werner’s discussion focuses on the socioeconomic policies of Chavez and will stem from these questions:

  • How different are Venezuela and the United States? Are there any similarities? Do the differences prohibit the United States from any major change?
  • Does our capitalism interfere with our ability to help the needy? Are we too developed to experiment with social programs? Is the debacle over Social Security a consequence of our inability to deal with major change?
  • Is Chavez’s militant liberalism effective? Should activists be more aggressive?
    Is this the only way to implement the social programs progressive activists are calling for (universal health care, universal education, crackdown on corporate crime)?
  • Does our constitution prohibit this type of revolution from ever happening in the United States? Does this mean we can never have the dramatic reforms that some advocate?
  • What can we learn from Chavez’s Venezuelan experiment?

Links to websites on the discussion topics as well as more information about the McKelvy House Scholars program are available on the group’s blog website.

Since 1962, the McKelvy House Scholars program has brought together Lafayette students with a wide range of majors and interests to reside in a historic off-campus house and share in intellectual and social activities. Sunday dinner discussions that engage the students in debate and exchange of ideas are the hallmark of the program; several Wednesday discussions have been added this school year. Most members also contribute to the annual McKelvy Papers, written on a topic of each person’s choice. McKelvy Scholars participate in activities together such as field trips to plays, concerts, and exhibits, and sponsor events for the campus as well.

Past discussions
Oct. 9 – Molecular Nanotechnology
Oct. 5 — Folk Music as Vehicle for Social Change
Sept. 25 — Freedom and Other Remembrance Issues
Sept. 20 — The Powerful Thrust of Language on Civic Arousal
Sept. 14 — Apathy
Sept. 11 — Why Do We Care about One Another?

Categorized in: Academic News