President Mark Gearan awarded the President's Bowl to the HWS Debate Team in a ceremony at Hirshson Ballroom on Sunday, May 1. The event was attended by the Hobart and William Smith deans, the director of Student Life and Leadership, and 25 students representing the groups nominated for the award. President Gearan praised the HWS Debate Team for their overall contribution to the quality of student life at the Colleges.
The team in its first year attended eight tournaments at other institutions, held three public debates on campus, sponsored a debate at the Geneva Middle School and worked with Career Services on a public speaking workshop series in April. The team has captured awards at nearly every tournament they have attended, even placing 1st and 2nd place at the Mount Holyoke College Debate in March, closing out teams from Harvard, Dartmouth, Smith and Wellesley. In addition, the team has sent letters to the incoming first-year class encouraging them to join the team.
“We believe we have encouraged safe places on campus where students are persuaded to speak their minds. Even further, we have tried to give them the appropriate skills for articulating their ideas and expressing them in public forums,” says Sandra Maroska '06, president of the HWS Debate Team. “In addition to that, we have brought great success to the Colleges in the form of our awards received at debate tournaments. We have demonstrated to the great Ivy Leagues that we are not Hobart William and Smith, or Smith or just Hobart–we are Hobart and William Smith Colleges and we are a academic force to be reckoned with.”
The other finalist for the award was the Campus Activities Board (CAB), which has sponsored more than 35 programs and events. These programs included student talent driven events (open mic nights, secret assassins, tie-dye, etc.), bands, comedians, mentalists, a regular movie series, dance parties, bingo and an event on the “art of kissing.”
Kyra Tobin '07, CAB president, wrote, “Many times we [have] collaborated with other clubs on campus such as It Might be Funny, Hobartones, LAO, Naral Pro-Choice and Pistols and Poodles. We strive to allow students to have fun on the weekends safely and drug free. We provide a healthy alternative to the party scene and promote student involvement outside the classroom.”
The other runners-up for the award included the senior class presidents, America Counts, Progressive Student Union, Architecture Society, NARAL Pro-Choice New York at HWS, College Republicans and Pride Alliance. These groups received certificates acknowledging their contributions as well.
The President's Bowl award was established in 1998 to provide a way for the president of the Colleges to recognize a student organization that has made outstanding contributions to the quality of student life and the greater community.