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!