Campbell Debate Series

Disagreement in the Public Interest 

Employing a style adapted from the Oxford Union debates, each Campbell Debate will allow a gathered audience to consider a question of national, regional or local significance. Two panels comprised of thought leaders will argue for each side, followed by counterpoints and audience questions and comments. At the conclusion of the debate, the audience will vote on the proposition by walking out one of two doors. The event is open to the public and a reception will follow.  The Debates are moderated by Campbell Director Grant Reeher.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020 | Maxwell Auditorium | 7:30 PM

The Campbell Debate Series will host the S.U. College Democrats and College Republicans as they debate Immigration. Topics include ICE, Family Separation, and Policy Solutions. A reception will immediately follow the lecture. 

Live Web Stream

The First Public Debate on a Metropolitan Form of Government For Onondaga County  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 | Maxwell Auditorium | 7:00 PM 


     Pre-debate: 108 for; 98 against; 9 undecided

     Post-debate: 85 for; 127 against; 1 undecided

THE PROPOSITION: “This House Would Establish a Metropolitan Form of Government for Onondaga County”

The principal recommendation of the Final Report of the Consensus Commission on Local Government Modernization is to establish a new municipal form of government for Onondaga County, with a single executive and a 33-seat legislature. While public forums and town hall meetings have been held to discuss the report, and the proposal has been both criticized and defended in the media, missing is a direct exchange between opposing views, with opportunities for challenge and rebuttal. Moderated by Campbell Institute Director and WRVO Campbell Conversations Host Grant Reeher, this debate provided that exchange.

Arguing in favor of the proposition were two members of the Consensus Commission:

   James Walsh, Government Affairs Counselor, K&L Gates LLP, former Member of Congress [R-NY-25]

   William Byrne, Chairman of the Board of Byrne Dairy

Arguing against the proposition:

   Stephanie Miner, Mayor of the City of Syracuse

Robert Antonacci, Onondaga County Comptroller

The debate provided a lively direct exchange among the speakers, as well as opportunities for audience questions. The audience voted on the issue both before and after the event. 

Members of the Central New York community attended the debate as well as the public reception following the debate, both were free and open to the public. Contact: Kelley Coleman at 315-443-9707 or

Press Contact: Grant Reeher, or 315.443.5046.