On Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, 2015, the Bard Debate Union hosted the second annual Bard College Invitational Debate Tournament, an inter-collegiate debate tournament, to which we will welcomed over 250 visitors (students, faculty, and staff) to campus. Participating institutions include: The Bard High School Early Colleges in Cleveland and Queens, Smolny College (St. Petersburg, Russia), Vassar College, Cornell University, Colgate University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the University of Vermont, the University of Rochester, King’s College, St. Johns University, and Patrick Henry College. Students from participating institutions debated in teams of two on topics ranging from international relations to economics, criminal justice to social issues. As the topics were announced a mere 15 minutes before each debate, the students were expected to do extensive research and preparation ahead of time. President Botstein joined us for our welcome ceremony in which he spoke to the participants about debate and the importance of respecting the losers and changing one’s mind. The tournament culminated last night in a final round between Cornell University and the University of Vermont on the topic of afro-centric education in public schools. Cornell was pronounced the winner. 24 members of the Bard Debate Union – Eva-Marie Quinones, Brontë Baker Blake, Adelina Colaku, Izzy Coen, Erind Disha, Nathaniel Carlsen, Zechen Zhang, Antoinette Kane, Hasani Gunn, Linda Yuan, Kevin Barbosa, Michael Kuckyr, William Crowdus, Danielle del Rosario, Simran Gupta, Grace Miao, Charles Moxley, Lenny Moxley, Chase Williams, Alex Waters, Caila Drew-Morin, Jeremy Coppola, Rachel Gunning, and Stella Frank – along with directors Ruth Zisman and David Register worked tirelessly all weekend long to make this tournament a great success. We like being the season opener debate tournament because we can set the standard for the new year. And what a standard we set. Go Bard Debate!!!