The first weekend in October, four teams traveled to Yale to compete against debaters from all over the US, Canada, and England.
There were several motions on education: “This house opposes the charter school system,” “This house believe that institutionalized art credentials are bad for art, and “This believes that universities and other stakeholders should primarily consider teaching ability rather than research outputs when awarding tenure and allocating academic funding” (of particular interest to us attending a research university that still claims focus on undergraduate education).
And as at any worlds tournament, there were political science motions: “This how will cooperate with any leader or regime to defeat non-state actors that systematically violate human rights” and “This house, and an emerging democracy, will suppress local/domestic organizations in favor of international media.” Most memorable was, “This house regrets online dating that judges on past dating experience (e.g. Lulu)”—none of us knew how Lulu worked prior to the round, and not all of us were pleased to learn about it afterwards.
Although none of the teams broke, and we were repeatedly running through pouring rain across an unknown campus, we all learned a lot. Highlights included meeting friends from other schools, finding Chipotle, and entertaining rounds against fellow URDU members!