During the weekend 27-28 April, the Colgate Debate Society held its annual Class of 1884 President’s Cup Intramural Debate Tournament. All the two-person teams competing were made up of one novice debater and one experienced debater. This levels the tournament’s playing field and gives the Society’s novice debaters an opportunity to learn from their more advanced peers.
The teams competing were: Alexa Windsor ’13 and Maddie Allen ’16, Anindya Guha ’15 and Julia O’Neill ’16, Jack Holland ’13 and Justin LoScalzo ’16, Javed Narejo ’14 and Yusra Siddique ’16, and Srikar Gullapalli ’13 and Lorelai Avram ’16. The tournament was chaired by Melissa Haller ’16 and paneled by Emily Luba ’16 and Kevin Costello ’16.
On Saturday, the teams competed in two preliminary rounds of debate, arguing topics such as punishment through exile, the influence of video games and, the limit on how many times a candidate can run for the same office.
On Sunday, championship round’s motion was: This House would allow women and only women to bear arms. Srikar and Lorelai won first place, Alexa and Maddie won second place, and Jack and Justin came in third.
With this, the debate season ended!
We look forward to next year to another great year!
From April 10-15, eleven members of the Colgate Debate Society traveled to the University of La Verne in La Verne, California to take part in the US Universities National British Parliamentary Debate Tournament. There were 160 two-person teams competing, or 300 competitors overall.
Jack Holland ’13 and Alexa Windsor ’13, Javed Narejo ’14 and Kevin Costello ’16, Julia O’Neill ’16 and Maddie Allen ’16 and Lorelai Avram ’16 and Anna Proios ’16 debated, while Emily Luba ’16, Yusra Siddique ’16 and Melissa Haller ’16 served as judges
The teams debated a wide range of motions: they debated whether extremist speakers should be allowed on college campuses, whether people should be allowed to sell their own citizenship and buy somebody else’s, whether ‘anglicizing’ cosmetic procedures should be banned, whether campaign funding for pro-capitalist candidates should be provided in emergent democracies, whether female vigilante groups should be legitimate in oppressive patriarchal societies, and whether the Pope should be considered persona non-grata in all countries but the Vatican until the Catholic Church opens itself to external investigation.
Emily and Melissa chaired some of the preliminary rounds. In addition, the Colgate debaters enjoyed sunny California, and became very motivated for future tournaments; watching the more experienced debaters in the Nationals break rounds.
In the break rounds, we heard very compelling arguments as to why the U.S. should provide South Korea with nuclear weapons, why the separation between church and state should not be allowed in emerging democracies’ constitutions, why the U.S. should favor environmentally friendly foreign companies over non-environmentally friendly domestic companies.
After the break rounds came the Championship Round where Yale University won the tournament by beating Loyola Marymount University, Carroll College, and Stanford University debating the motion: “Whilst accepting that life begins at conception, this House supports a woman’s right to abortion.”
Colgate’s novices fared well in the individual speaker rankings. There were 113 novices competing and Julia, Maddie, and Jack were ranked 21, 25, and 28. In addition, Julia and Maddie ranked 16 out of a field of 58 novice teams!
We’re already looking forward to next year’s Nationals!
On April 5, 2013 three members of the Debate Society participated in the 2013 Debate Without Borders Skype Tournament, organized by Afghans for Progressive Thinking. Anna Proios ’16 and Lorelai Avram ’16 debated, while Alexa Windsor ’13 judged. The other teams and judges were from other North American universities, China, and Afghanistan. Given the time difference between the US and Afghanistan, the debate started on Friday at 8:30 a.m. in Kabul, which was Thursday at 11:30 p.m. at Colgate University.
Anna and Lorelai debated a team from Kabul University, supporting the motion: “This house would subsidize Wikipedia.” The two Colgate debaters found it very interesting to debate with a team from another country, because of the different perspective it provided. For example, one of the arguments of the proposition (Colgate) was that the government should subsidize Wikipedia because the online encyclopedia is easily accessible to a very large segment of the North-American population and the world population–the government would be funding something beneficial to a lot of its citizens, as well as to the rest of the world. The opposition (Kabul University) replied by stating that in countries like Afghanistan, only 7% of the population has access to the Internet, so perhaps the United States should use these funds in order to ensure a basic level of education for all people, rather than put money into a website that is doing just fine.
Alexa judged a team from Tulane University debating against a team from Malwana Institute, Afghanistan on the motion “This house believes that the internet is eroding local cultures.”
It was also very interesting for the debaters and the judge alike to try a new debating style: the International Public Debate Association style (IPDA), which consists of two teams, as opposed to four teams in the British Parliamentary style of debate. Also, in the IPDA style the teams engage in constructive speeches, and cross-examinations. Furthermore, the tournament was a “display tournament,” which reduced the usual pressure, and made the debate more about the exchange of ideas, rather than about winning the tournament.
Over the weekend of March 30-April 1, 2013 the Colgate Debate Society held its fourth annual British Parliamentary Debate Tournament. Founded in 2010 by Austin Schwartz ’10, the tournament has continued to grow with 64 teams competing this year for the win! Along with judges and observers, there were nearly 170 participants in the tournament including debaters from Canada, New Zealand, and the US.
Preparations began months ago at the Worlds Universities Debate Championship in Berlin, Germany when Ben Woolgar (UK) was recruited as Chief Adjudicator and Gavin Illsley (UK) was recruited to judge and run the tab room. Alexa Windsor ’13 Debate Society President served as the tournament’s Convener with members of the Debate Society handling logistics–buying supplies, serving food, registering teams, shuttling participants, reserving classroom space and more!