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Past Speaker Events

This page highlights this year's events that had an effect on the campus as a whole.


Robby Soave: Hate Crimes, Hoakes and Free Speech

March 2020

TV pundit and Forbes 30 Under 30 lister Robby Soave gave some perspective on this crisis. Robby is a senior editor at Reason magazine and recently published his first book: Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump. He will examine how draconian efforts to police hate can backfire, while threatening important principles like free speech and due process. This event was co-sponsored by Columbia Republicans and Columbia Libertarians.


Amity Shlaes: Conservatism vs. Socialism

October 2019

Columbia Republicans hosted author and economic historian Amity Shlaes on Tuesday 10/29 to discuss how Great Society entitlement programs shackled millions of families in government dependence and how this figures into the debate about socialism today. Amity Shlaes is the author of a number of books, including four New York Times bestsellers.


James O' Keefe: The Fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News

February 2019

Among other topics of discussion, O’Keefe promoted his new book, “AMERICAN PRAVDA: My Fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News.”


Jimmy Kemp: Conservativism and the American Idea

October 2018

Jimmy Kemp is the president of the Jack Kemp Foundation which was created in honor of his father U.S. Representative Jack Kemp. Mr. Kemp also co-founded and is the Managing Partner of Kemp Partners, a strategic consulting firm based in Washington D.C. Established in 2002, Kemp Partners provides government relations and corporate affairs services to a diverse clientele. His father, Rep. Kemp wrote the legislation that President Ronald Reagan adopted for tax cuts, called the “Kemp-Roth Tax Cuts,” and was the mentor to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.  Through the Jack Kemp Foundation, Jimmy works to develop, engage, and recognize exceptional leaders who champion the American idea, beginning with the premise that the condition of your birth shouldn't determine the outcome of your life. 

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Roger Pilon: On the Future of Constitutional Liberty

March 2020

Columbia Republicans hosted former Vice President of the Cato Institute Robert Pilon to discuss the role of the Constitution in our ever-changing society with this legal scholar. The event was cosponsored by Columbia University Libertarians and Columbia Political Union. Pilon is an alumnus of Columbia’s School of General Studies and a recipient of the GS Alumni Medal of Distinction. He has served as a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.

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Peter Beinart and Rich Lowry Debate Nationalism

April 2019

Columbia University College Republicans hosted National Review editor Rich Lowry and Atlantic contributing editor Peter Beinart for a debate about nationalism. Our guests will debated the motion "In the age of Trump and Brexit, nationalism is a malign force." Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. Peter Beinart is Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York. 


Heather MacDonald: The Diversity Illusion

November 2018

Heather Mac Donald is the national bestselling author of The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture and The War on Cops, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and a contributing editor of City Journal. A former aspiring academic with roots in deconstruction and postmodernism, she has been the target of violent student protest for her work on policing. She holds a B.A. from Yale and an M.A. from Cambridge in English, and a J.D. from Stanford. Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Partisan Review, among other publications. She lives in New York.

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Lawrence Jones: Free Speech and Bias on College Campuses

September 2018

Lawrence B. Jones III is Campus Reform's editor-in-chief. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he hosted his own radio show on The Blaze Radio Network, served as a Contributing Host for The Blaze TV, and appears regularly on Fox News, Fox Business, CNN, and MSNBC. In 2013, his work as an investigative journalist played a pivotal role in exposing corruption in the Affordable Care Act marketplace. His investigative work was instrumental in bringing reform to the funding of the Affordable Care Act’s Navigator program and earned him the FreedomWorks 2013 Activist of the Year Award. He has been listed on Red Alert's 30 under 30 and Newsmax's 30 most influential Republicans under 30.

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Oren Cass: Can There be a Working Class Republican Party?

November 2019

Republicans hosted an exclusive discussion with Oren Cass, Manhattan Institute fellow and Romney 2012 senior advisor, to address this question. His latest book “The Once and Future Worker” made waves last year with its surprising call for conservatives to embrace stronger government. Cass’s ideas are unorthodox and have the potential to reshape decades of consensus on the American right. 

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Bill Kristol: The Future of the GOP

February 2019

Columbia Republicans brought "Never Trumper" Bill Kristol to campus to talk to us about the future of the GOP.


Mark Krikorian: On Immigration

October 2018

Mark Krikorian joined us with a pro-immigration viewpoint to speak about the advantages of a low-immigration vision which seeks a better assimilation process for all immigrants in the U.S. Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995. The Center, an independent, non-partisan research organization in Washington, D.C., examines and critiques the impact of immigration on the United States. 

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