Debate Society Competes at Fordham

Kristen Scherb '13, Jeremy Brendle '13, Andrew Menges '12, Adam Vorchheimer '11.
Kristen Scherb '13, Jeremy Brendle '13, Andrew Menges '12, Adam Vorchheimer '11.
The Hamilton Debate Society competed at the 27th Annual Fordham Debate Tournament, held at Fordham University in the Bronx on Nov. 27-29. Adam Vorchheimer ’11 and Andrew Menges ’12 competed together, as did Jeremy Brendle ’13 and Kristin Scherb ’13.

The tournament featured almost 170 competitors from more than 20 schools, and is one of the most popular tournaments of the year. Both Hamilton teams finished with 2-3 records against one of the most competitive fields in the country. The Hamilton teams debated against teams such as the University of Chicago, Boston University and Wellesley College in a few of their rounds. The winning team was from Johns Hopkins University.

Hamilton competes in the American Parliamentary Debate Association, which is a league for all the top schools in the Northeast and Midwest. Parliamentary Debate is a two on two competition which allows one team to propose a specific topic at the beginning of the debate, while the other side must come up with counter arguments quickly and often without preparation. Topics can either be inspired by current events, or based on hypothetical situations that require one side to choose one of two options.

In one round, Vorchheimer and Menges debated whether or not the British government should be obligated to return artifacts they took during the colonial period to museums in the original countries. In another, one side asked if it would be better to be omnipotent or omniscient.

The tournament also functioned as an APDA meeting, in which the entire governing body of the circuit comes together to discuss the current state of affairs, or propose changes to governing policy, with each school getting one vote in the proceedings. The meetings occur every few months, and generally are held at the biggest tournaments each semester.

The Hamilton Debate Society is open to anyone interested, and holds its meetings on Mondays and Thursdays in KJ 101 at 4:30 p.m. Anyone with questions should contact dsavage@hamilton.edu.
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