Guests Cuomo and Chavez to debate affirmative action issue

The Williams College Debate Union (WCDU) will present the two sides of the argument over affirmative action in its annual spring debate next Thursday in Chapin Hall. The event will feature guest debaters Linda Chavez, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, and Andrew Cuomo, a 2002 candidate for Governor of New York. The topic of debate is “Affirmative Action in College Admissions: Has Its Time Run Out?”

Chavez is the former White House Director of Public Liaison and served as director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1983 to 1985. She was also the Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Maryland in 1986 and U.S. expert on the United National Subcommission of Human Rights from 1992 to 1996.

Chavez is also the author of a number of columns and publications, including the book “Out of the Barrio: Towards a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation,” which examines the impact of developments in bilingual education, voting rights, immigration and affirmative action on the Hispanic population. She is also a columnist whose pieces have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New Republic and Commentary. In addition, she served as editor of the quarterly journal of the American Federation of Teachers, the American Educator.

Cuomo served as Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 1997 to 2001. One of his major accomplishments while with HUD was an agreement with America’s largest handgun manufacturer that led to changes in gun design, distribution and marketing in order to make them safer and to avoid dangerous accidents.

In 1979, Cuomo received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and went on to attend Albany Law School in 1982. Soon after, he worked as campaign manager for his father, Mario M. Cuomo in the 1982 race for Governor of New York. He has practiced law as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and as a partner in a New York city law firm. He is also the founder of Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged, which provides transitional housing for the homeless.