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!
Policy Debate Team Closes their Season at CEDA Nationals at Idaho State University (March 23-26, 2013)
The Bard policy debate team called the 2012-2013 season to a close at CEDA Nationals 2013 (“the people’s tournament,” as many call it) at Idaho State University this past weekend. The team sent four debaters–Michael Luxemburg, Sam Jaffe Goldstein, Max Taylor-Milner, and Anna Daniszewski–along with coaches, Ruth and David, to the tournament. And while we did not win as many debates as we may have liked, we were able to witness an historic moment in debate history in which non-whites and women won the top 12 speaker awards at the tournament and the final round consisted of all non-white men. Not only does this show us that debate is capable of change (many of you know that for many years debate has received an onslaught of criticism for its exclusionary practices and ‘white boys club’ feel) but that debate is quite actively changing. So we were able to watch some incredibly inspiring speeches and start to brainstorm some great ideas for next year. Congratulations to all four debaters but especially to our two seniors, Lux and Sam, for their dedication and commitment during the past two years. We wouldn’t have a policy debate team if it weren’t for you. Go Bard Debate!
On Friday, March 1, 2013, the Bard Debate Union together with the Center for Civic Engagement hosted the Second Annual Middle and High School Debate Tournament at Bard College. This year the tournament doubled in size from last year as the team welcomed 80 middle and high school students to campus. Participants haled from all three Bard High School Early Colleges (Manhattan, Newark, and Queens), Red Hook High School, Rhinebeck High School, Red Hook Middle School, Rhinebeck Middle School, and St. Joseph’s Middle School in Kingston. The students all participated in two debates (on the topics of gun control and mandatory civil service) which were judged by Bard Debaters. After lunch and the awards ceremony (which recognized the top 10 speakers and top 5 teams in Middle School and High School), members of the Bard Debate Union put on a public debate on the topic of mandatory civil service. Thanks to the help of many Bard Debaters and the support of the Center for Civic Engagement, the event ran seamlessly. Thank you to all who were involved. We sure have set the bar high for next year’s 3rd Annual Tournament!
The Bard Debate Union headed to the Northeast Regional Championships and NDT Qualifier at Western Connecticut State University in full force this weekend. 15 students attended the tournament. And while we did not come home with any awards, there was much success all around. Policy team of Sam Jaffe Goldstein and Anna Daniszewski represented Bard in the District 8 NDT Qualifier and came just 1 ballot away from a spot to the National Debate Tournament. This is not only indicative of their incredible improvement as debaters over the course of this year but also of the tremendous amount of work that went into preparing for this tournament. This is Bard’s first time at the NDT Qualifier since 2008 and it was indeed an impressive re-entry into the national circuit! And while we wont be at the NDT this year, we could not be more proud of Sam and Anna for making an exceptionally good run at it! The Bard Debate Union also had a solid weekend in worlds, with 3 teams in break rounds during round 6. Shaya and Hanze finished the tournament with 11 points, just barely missing the break on points. Lee and Ian finished the tournament with 10 points (as did first Jesse with his swing partner from Rochester), Annie and Isabel with 9, and Sam and Diana with 5. A valiant attempt was made by all! Go Bard Debate!
The Bard Debate Union was named tournament champion at the Adelphi Debate Tournament in Garden City, New York this weekend (February 16-17). Five students attended the tournament with four debating and one judging. Junior, Lee Gensler, and Senior, Ian Busher, knew they were going to make a run for it when they were in the 4th seed position after the 6 preliminary rounds. They then won their semi-finals round and advanced to finals for the first time this year, only to then win the finals and be crowned tournament champions! Lee Gensler was also named 3rd overall speaker at the tournament and Ian Busher 6th. New debaters, Annie Cockrell and Isabel Filkins, also had a great tournament, earning 7 total points! And Shaya French cleared as a judge. It was a great tournament for Bard Debate! Go team!
The Bard Worlds Debate Team had a great weekend (Feb 3-4) at the Kings College Debate Tournament in the Financial District of Manhattan. Eight students attended the tournament with coach, David Register. Ian Busher ’13 and Lee Gensler ’14 were the 7th seed at the tournament and semi-finalists, finishing out tied for 5th place. Lee was also named 5th overall speaker at the tournament. Theo Lowrey ’16 and Isabel Filkins ’14 advanced to Novice Finals, and finished out tied for 2nd place. Hanze Song ’15 and Shaya French ’15 were just one point away from advancing and Annie Cockrell ’14 and Stephanie Presch ’15 served as judges for the team. This brings the yearly total to 14 awards. Go Bard Debate!
The Bard Policy Debate team headed to Monmouth, New Jersey this weekend for the first tournament of the Spring 2013 semester. Four students attended with coach, David Register. And despite being a little bit rusty from a long break, the team of Sam Jaffe-Goldstein and Anna Daniszewski pulled through and advanced to elimination rounds, finishing the tournament as Quarter-Finalists. Sam was also awarded with the 7th overall varsity speaker award! Sophomore policy debater, Max Taylor-Milner also attended the tournament as a judge, along with student coach, Michael Luxemburg. Congrats to Bard Policy Debate on a nice showing for the beginning of 2013!
On 28 November 2012, the Bard Debate Union hosted its third and final public debate of the Fall 2012 semester. With the US Presidential Election in early November, this has been a busy semester for the Bard Debate Union with countless election-related events on campus. It was precisely in response to all of this election buzz that we decided upon the topic for our final public debate. While our team has many proud Obama supports, we also have many members who question Obama’s policies and politics. Thus we decided to debate about the US constitution, legality in the Presidential office, and the role of impeachment. And while it was a busy time of year for all Bard students and thus difficult to draw in a large crowd, we had an exciting debate nonetheless with strong arguments presented on both sides. Congrats to all 6 debaters (Ian Busher, Lee Gensler, Shaya French, Hanze Song, Theo Lowrey, and Samantha Sacks) and our moderator, Eva Prost, for the hard work they put in to making this debate happen!