December Cold Brings In-House Debates!

Saturday, December 3rd the University of Rochester Debate Union did two of the things it does best: 1. host debaters from other schools and 2. debate against them.

This was the 2nd annual December Debate Scrimmage which is a free, one-day Worlds and Policy scrimmage open to students of the UofR and all of the surrounding schools. This year’s scrimmage bested the previous year in both number of students (40!) and the diversity of schools represented.

The URDU hosted Worlds students from Monroe Community College, Hobart and William College, Rochester Institute of Technology and Binghamton University. Students debated/judged 3 rounds in various partnerships to focus on introducing novice debaters to the Worlds format. The motions we debated were:

Dr. John Angelis from RIT getting ready to judge

Rd. 1 – This House Would Mandate equal media coverage of men’s and women’s sports.
Rd. 2 – This House Would allow families to check members into rehab for drug and alcohol addiction.
Rd. 3 – This House Supports a 100% death/inheritance tax.

Levan Bokeria, our own UR debater

URDU Policy students debated/judged 2 full rounds of in-depth debate on the year-long resolution:

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its democracy assistance for one or more of the following countries: Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia.

Following the 3 rounds of Worlds and 2 rounds of Policy debate, we had our Public Debate!

The public debaters!
Nina Datlof (UR), Emily Breeding (UR), Will Bright (RIT), Cameron Baker (RIT), Ben Lesnewski (MCC), Jacob Dorfman (Bing U), Will Barker (MCC) and Sim (Bing U)


The motion: Given the technology, This House Would clone endangered and recently extinct species.

Will Barker from MCC speaking as the 2nd speaker for the Opposition

RIT – the Opening Government.
UR (Emily Breeding ’12 & Nina Datlof ’14 [Worlds Captain]) – as the Closing Government
MCC – as the Opening Opposition
Bing U – as the Closing Opposition

Audience members take notes to keep track of the winning and losing arguments

The UR won the audience over! They took home (literally…) first place as Closing Government.

Vice president, Alyssa Schwartz, celebrates with the winners – Nina Datlof and Emily Breeding!

Here are some videos of the scrimmage by the awesome Levan Bokeria (a policy debater who tried his hand in Worlds that day):

Second round of Worlds debate

Participants of the Public Debate

Introduction to the Public Debate

The debate itself

Announcement of the winner (U of R!)

Floor speeches that happened after the debate

The scrimmage was an overall success, keeping debaters active as the debate season comes to an end for the fall semester. Coming up is the much anticipated Texas swing in January for policy debaters, and the Kings tournament in New York City for the Worlds side. Debate lives on!

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