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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Debate team hosts annual tourney

Published: March 23, 2007
Section: News

The Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society (BADASS) hosted its annual tournament this past weekend here in the North Academic Quad. Teams from all over the east coast debated at the competition including Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Harvard and others. Many more were scheduled to arrive, but were unable to attend due to the inclement weather. Still, the tournament had a field of 37 teams, a small but respectable number of competitors for a tournament. The debaters were housed in residence halls on campus, mostly in the North residence quad. Many members of the Brandeis community were involved in the processes of judging, housing, and facilitating the tournament. In the end a Harvard team and a Princeton team were able to make it to the finals round. After a heated and entertaining debate, the Harvard team ended up winning the tournament.

The tournament included 4 rounds of debate before breaking into octofinals out rounds. Some choices of topics for the debaters included themes from the X-Men universe, and other types of policy cases. The tournament included a party on Friday night that took place in the Castle commons before beginning the tournament again on Saturday morning. The final round topic involved the worth of sanctions as a tool of political diplomacy. The Harvard team was charged with defending the side of utilizing sanctions and eventually won the ballots of the majority of judges;

winning them the tournament. In making it to the final round of the tournament, both the Princeton and Harvard debaters qualified to the national championships in April. Gaining this ability is considered one of the biggest honors on the circuit, and this makes Harvard the team with the second most qualified debaters in the nation.

Arranging the tournament involved the help of many from the Brandeis community, and the hard work of numerous members of the debate team. The tournament directors for this year were Rebecca Sivitz 09 and Daniel Blynn 09 while the judging directors included Joel Todoroff 09 and Shoshana Gordon Ginsburg 07. Joel Todoroff explained that this weekends tournament helped solidify the teams credibility in the conference and is anticipating debates to come. He explained that the debate team is currently ranked 8th in the nation and is hoping to catch up in the coming weeks. The debate team also currently has two debaters, Mark Samburg 07 and Joel Todoroff who are currently ranked as the 7th best team in the country. This is a huge honor and is reflected by successes from past tournaments.

The debate team is one of the winniest teams at this university, ranked top-ten in the nation and placing competitors at nearly every tournament they attended last year. They go on to compete at the Providence College debate tournament this weekend, and will go on to send a strong delegation to the National Championships in mid-April. This past weekends tournament brought Brandeis debate close to home and involved much of the community in the college debate experience.