Inaugural Debate Competition Held on Campus – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Inaugural Debate Competition Held on Campus

Hobart and William Smith will launch the inaugural Finger Lakes Cup public debate on Friday, March 4.

The inaugural Finger Lakes Cup, a public debate held in the British Parliamentary format, will kick off at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4 in the Vandervort Room. Featuring the best debaters from HWS, Cornell, University of Rochester and Colgate, the winner will be awarded $1,000.

“The Finger Lakes Cup harkens back to the old days of competitive debating, before tournaments when “challenge debates” (like the 1928 Hobart vs. Oxford debate) were the focus of college debating societies,” explains Professor of Philosophy Eric Barnes, who is the director of HWS Debate. “The Finger Lakes Cup will bring together the best debaters in Upstate New York in an annual competition that is more public and accessible than most debate tournaments, with the goal of highlighting the value of debate to a wider audience of students, alums and faculty members.”

The debate motion for the 2022 Finger Lakes Cup will be in the area of Criminal Justice Reform. The exact motion will be released at 5 p.m. on March 4 in the Vandervort Room. On March 4, teams will first draw for positions, then the motion will be released; Debaters will then have 15 minutes to prepare for the debate.

Finger Lakes Cup judges include:

  *   Aditya Dhar, a 2021 graduate from Harvard University, who is the chief adjudicator of the North American Universities Debating Championships 2022.

  *   Amrit Agastia of Australian National University College of Law, who was champion of the Austral-Asians Debate Championship 2020.
  *   Brent Schmidt of Western Ontario University, who will serve as deputy chief adjudicator of World Universities Debating Championships 2022. 
  *   Charity Makhala, a master’s student at University of Botswana and chief adjudicator of World Women’s Debate Open 2022.
  *   Harish Natarajan, a widely recognized debate champion who was a grand finalist at the 2016 World Debating Championships and winner of the European Debating Championship in 2012.

In conjunction with the event, HWS Debate will organize a debate workshop for interested participants from each institution. This will be an opportunity for aspiring debaters to learn from experienced and successful debaters.