The Bard Debate Union had another successful weekend at the Huber Debate Tournament at the University of Vermont. Nearly 300 students were in attendance participating in both Parliamentary and Policy debate formats. Bard Parliamentary team of Lee Gensler ’14 and Hanze Song ’15 advanced to elimination rounds as the 9th seed (out of 103 teams) and won an impressive Quarter-Finals debate on the topic “This house believes that Palestinian Organizations should actively campaign for Israeli citizenship over independent Palestinian statehood.” They ended the tournament tied for 5th place. Lee was also named 14th overall parliamentary speaker (out of 206 parliamentary debaters). Bard Policy team of Anna Danszewski ’15 and partner Leslie Nesser, from San Diego State University, earned an impressive 4-2 record in preliminary rounds and ended the tournament tied for 5th place. Anna was also named 9th overall policy speaker (out of 75 policy debaters). 12 students attended along with faculty adviser Ruth Zisman, coach David Register, and assistant and Bard CEP graduate student, Anna Lapera. Congrats to all involved! Go Bard Debate!!!
As always, when family weekend is upon us, the Bard Debate Union puts on a show – and what a show it was! For this year’s events we chose the topic of “Humanitarian Intervention” so as to discuss recent events in Syria and around the world. We began the evening with a Faculty Round Table featuring Bard Professors Walter Russell Mead, Michelle Murray, and Peter Rosenblum. The event had a packed house (people were literally spilling out of RKC 103) and sparked some very interesting debate and discussion. Following the Round Table, we put on a public debate on the topic “Resolved: Military Intervention is NOT Humanitarian.” Another fascinating and thought-provoking event, indeed, the debate was well researched and planned and succeeded in changing the audience’s mind from the pre- to the post-debate vote. Thank you to all of our faculty participants and debate union members for putting on these events on a very important and pressing political topic. Go Bard Debate!
On 1 October 2013, the Bard Debate Union together with the Hannah Arendt Center put on a public debate on the topic “Resolved: online learning will save higher education.” The topic was inspired by this year’s Hannah Arendt Center Conference, Failing Fast: The Educated Citizen in Crisis. In addition to four members of the Bard Debate Union, the debate also featured Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, Bob McGrail, and Associate Professor of Political Studies and Human Rights and Academic Director of the Hannah Arendt Center, Roger Berkowitz. We had over 40 audience members many of whom stuck around long after the debate to continue discussing the topic. Congrats to all who helped to make this a successful and thought-provoking event!
The Bard Debate Union opened the 2013-2014 travel season with a BANG at this weekend’s Season Opener at SUNY Binghamton (Sept 20-22, 2013)!!! There were nearly 100 teams in attendance competing in both policy and worlds debate but this did not stop the Bard Debate Union from making a strong showing. Worlds novices at their first tournament ever, Eva-Marie Quinones ’17 and Jackie Merrill ’17, completed preliminary rounds with an impressive 9 points and then, upon advancing to novice finals, WON THE TOURNAMENT and were named novice champions! Returning debaters, Lee Gensler ’14 and Hanze Song ’15, ended preliminary rounds with 12 points and advanced to semi-finals! Lee was also 5th over-all speaker at the tournament! Finally, new policy debaters, Nora Cooper ’17 and Jeremy Kaplitt ’17, worked their way through a very competitive JV policy division ending prelims with a 3-3 record; after advancing to elimination rounds, Nora and Jeremy put on a very impressive performance in Octa-finals, upsetting the 6th seed and continuing on to quarter-finals. They ended the tournament tied for 5th place!! Congrats also to Stephanie Presch ’15 for her continued excellent work as a judge (she chaired all 6 preliminary worlds debates) and to all of our returning debaters who were in attendance and helped to make the weekend a great success. Go Bard Debate!
On September 12, 2013, West Point cadets and faculty joined Bard students and faculty on the stage for a public debate on the topic, “Resolved: drones do more good than harm.” This event was a joint effort put on by the Bard Debate Union, the Center for the Study of the Drone, and the Center for Civic Engagement. We were honored to feature Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Peter Rosenblum, as well as Army Captain Adam Scher in the debate. And what a debate it was!! Every speech was articulate, thoughtful, and moving, keeping the audience captured throughout. And what an audience it was!! We had over 150 people in attendance. Thank you so much to West Point for making the trip up to Bard to debate us on this important and timely issue and thank you to everyone who came out to watch.
Bard Debate Union celebrates the beginning of its 10th season and welcomes many new debaters at first meeting! (Sept 2, 2013)
The Bard Debate Union is thrilled to be beginning its 10th debate season and to have welcomed so many promising new debaters to our first meeting of the year. With nearly 30 students in attendance things are looking good for the Bard Debate Union. And that is good because we have quite a year ahead of us with over 12 tournaments, 6 public debates, and 4 outreach projects in the works. Fall 2013 tournaments include: SUNY Binghamton, Yale, Kentucky, Hart House, West Point, Harvard, Vermont, and Wake Forest. Public debate topics include: drones, online education, and the NSA. Outreach projects will be taking place at the Red Hook Middle School, Red Hook High School, Rhinebeck High School, and Bard High School Early College, Manhattan. Go Bard Debate! Here’s to an AMAZING 10th year!
Bard policy debaters, Anna Daniszewski ’15 and Max Taylor-Milner ’15, both attended the Arizona Debate Institute this summer (July 29-Aug 11, 2013). The Arizona Debate Institute is the largest college policy debate summer institute in the country and involves 11 grueling days of lectures, skill work, drills, practice debates, and re-do speeches, culminating in a 2-day tournament for all participants. We are thrilled to announce that on top of getting a great head start to the 2013-2014 debate season and learning A LOT, Anna and Max also came in 2nd place in the tournament after achieving an impressive 5-1 record in preliminary rounds. Looks like it is going to be a good year for Anna and Max! Go Bard Debate!
On Friday, May 10, members of the Bard Debate Union gathered together one last time to celebrate the end to another successful year. It was a bittersweet night as we bid farewell to 5 graduating seniors–Ian Busher, Sam Jaffe Goldstein, Michael Luxemburg, Saim Saeed, and Lenny Simon. So we gathered for pizza at Two Boots and reflected on our year. It was indeed a great year for Bard Debate; highlights include Lee and Ian winning the Adelphi Tournament, Sam and Anna earning 8 ballots at the NDT Qualifier Tournament, 5 incredibly successful public debates, the Second Annual Middle and High School Debate Tournament at Bard, not to mention countless other team and speaker awards. We ended the evening by passing out our newest (and perhaps best) team sweatshirts ever:) Thank you to everyone who helped to make this year a success. The Bard Debate Union wishes you all a fabulous summer! Go Bard Debate!
The Bard Debate Union decided to debate the issue of marriage equality in our final public debate of the year. But this was no right vs. left wing debate. Rather this was a debate about the debate that is going on WITHIN the gay rights movement – a debate about whether or not marriage equality is the right “goal” for the gay rights movement to position itself around. The question we posed for the debate was: does marriage equality reinforce a conservative institution or does it support social change? Thanks to Connor, Shaya, Lee, Saim, Stephanie, Hanze, and Savannah for making this a very thoughtful and enjoyable final debate for the 2012-2013 season.
Four members of the Bard Worlds team (Lee Gensler, Ian Busher, Shaya French, and Hanze Song) traveled with coach, David Register, to La Verne University in Los Angeles this weekend to compete at the elite US Universities Debating Championships. This is the largest BP tournament in the United States each year, welcoming approximately 160 teams. Both Bard teams fought hard and strong earning 9 total points and just missing the break by 2 points (break was 11). But the improvement that they showed this year was remarkable and we are all so proud of them. This tournament also marks the final tournament for Bard Senior, Ian Busher. We will miss you, Ian. Great work this year!