The Hobart and William Smith Debate team hosted the second annual on-campus Round Robin Debate Tournament, welcoming an international contingent of debate teams from as near as Ithaca and as far as Oxford, England. During the British Parliamentary style tournament, teams debated controversial issues, ranging from the United Nations and subprime mortgages to Tibetan freedom and fashion magazines.
This style of debate requires a great extent of knowledge and preparation by the teams, as they must be well versed on all current events for the five rounds of highly competitive debate. After an exciting closing debate about establishing an international police force, the panel of judges — from University of Alaska, Queen’s University, University of Vermont, Portland State and HWS — awarded the first place prize of $1,000 to the team from Harvard. Claremont was presented with the $500 second place prize. Students Lewis Turner (Oxford), Alexander Levy (Toronto) and Alex Worsnip (Oxford) were also honored for their prowess at the podium.
The tournament welcomed an esteemed group of international debaters representing the University of Alaska, Amherst College, Cornell University, University of LaVerne, Oxford University, Portland State, Queen’s University, RIT, Seattle University, Swarthmore College, the University of Toronto, Vassar College, University of Vermont and Yale University.
Well on its way to becoming a prestigious international event, the fledgling tournament earned recognition from the International Debate Education Association (IDEA), a part of the Soros Foundations’ Open Society Institute, which will support an increase in international representation for the event in future years.
As host of the debate, the HWS Debate Team was unable to compete in the tournament, but the team will be back in action on Thursday, April 10, when they take on debaters from Oxford at the University Club in Manhattan. The clash will mark the 80th anniversary of Oxford University’s historic 1928 trip to the HWS campus and will focus on the contentious subject of compensation for wrongly incarcerated individuals. The match will be sponsored by the Development Office and generous contributions from trustees Michael Gantcher ’92 and Allison Morrow ’76.
Streaming video of the debate tournament is available now.