Flags on display in Washington, D.C.

Undergraduate Essay Competition

Previous Competitions

2021 Topic

“Should the United States make military or national service compulsory?”

Winners: Maxwell Ruzika, Dana Craig, Jonah Edelman, Ellen Stojak, Nicholas Carl

Ellen Stojak

2020 Topic

“Should patriotism be taught at UW Madison?”

Winners: Jacob Bernstein, Nils Peterson, Lucas Olsen, Cleo Rank, Tony Mattioli

2019 Topic

“Should social media platforms be permitted to censor controversial speech?”

Winners: Anitha Quintin, Lucas Olsen, Matthew Kass

2018 Topic

“Should the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution—which states that ‘All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside’—be repealed or modified to restrict more precisely the definition of who may claim citizenship?”

Winners: Dana Coggio, Ben Johnson, August Schultz

2017 Topic

“Should the U.S. Electoral College be abolished, reformed, or left to the states to determine?”

Winners: Ean Quick, Garrett McLaughlin, Joshua Gutzmann

2016 Topic

“Are the goals of fostering freedom of speech on campus and of fostering a welcoming environment for all students incompatible?”

Winners:  Joshua GutzmannRebekah CullumZawadi Carroll