Penn Calendar Penn A-Z School of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Mitchell Center/PPU Debates

THE PENN POLITICAL UNION (PPU) is an undergraduate organization formed in 2014 that features parliamentary-style deliberation on urgent contemporary issues.  To represent a wide spectrum of political opinion, students are members of five different political parties: libertarian, conservative, independent, liberal, and progressive.

Beginning in 2017-18, The Andrea Mitchell Center is proud to sponsor the PPU debates, now expanded to include events featuring prominent public figures from journalism, politics, public policy, and academia. As with all Mitchell Center events, the PPU debates are open to the public and there will usually be opportunity for active participation in the discussion by members of the audience not affiliated with one of the five parties. 

The Mitchell Center/PPU debates are co-sponsored by the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society and the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative.

Follow the Penn Political Union on Facebook at

Next Event

PPU Debate - Are Republicans Responsible for the Surge of White Nationalism?


JOIN THE PENN POLITICAL UNION as its five parties debate the following resolution: "The Republican Party is responsible for the reemergence of white nationalism in the United States."

Past Events

North Korea and the Bomb - A PENN POLITICAL UNION DEBATE

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

JOIN THE PENN POLITICAL UNION as we debate the following resolution:  "The United States of America cannot allow North Korea to develop a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), even if that means taking military action.”

MITCHELL CENTER/PPU DEBATE - Is the Media to Blame for the Climate of Polarization?

With featured guest Michael Smerconish
Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
College Hall, Room 200

Co-sponsored by the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society and the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative.

Watch coverage of the event on Smerconish's CNN show here.

IN THE FIRST OF AN ONGOING SERIES, the Mitchell Center and the Penn Political Union present journalist Michael Smerconish to get a debate started over the role of the media in the political polarization of the America.

Would Increased Regulation of Firearms Prevent Mass Shootings?

Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Join the Penn Political Union and guest JOHN LOTT (The Crime Prevention Research Center) as they debate the resolution, “In order to prevent mass public shootings, the United States should more heavily regulate firearm ownership.”