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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

BADASS team hosts debate tournament

Published: March 5, 2010
Section: News

The Brandeis Academic Debate and Speech Society (BADASS) held their annual tournament last weekend, hosting more than 20 schools, including Yale, Columbia and the University of Maryland. A pair from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won overall after competing against more than 60 other teams.

As hosts, BADASS did not compete but instead organized the tournament, lead by coordinators Shira Strauss ’11, Michael Perloff ’12 and Mariel Gruszko ’10. Among other things, the team organized catering and volunteers. They also reserved classrooms for competition, primarily in the North Academic Quad, BADASS Secretary Richard Weisbach ’13 said.

BADASS judged each round with the help of teammates and alumni. The team also arranged housing for more than 100 competitors who stayed in Ziv and Rosenthal quads.

Competitors, many of whom were at the Brandeis tournament for the first time, had positive and neutral things to say about their experience.

“Brandeis was much less behind time than most tournaments … but that isn’t saying much,” said Dan Rosenblum ’12, captain of the Tufts debate team.

Mytheos Holt ’10, the vice president of the Wesleyan debate team, considers himself one of the more experienced members of his team and hopes to continue the upward trend of making his team credible after a downward slump.

“Brandeis’ tournament is generally well run,” he said. “You tend to have a good judging pool, which means you are qualified to make good decisions. Having a big enough team and a big enough commitment means that they don’t just pull people off the street.”

BADASS and the other teams present this weekend are members of the American Parliamentary Debate Association. BADASS is one of the oldest student organizations on campus and one of the most successful Brandeis competitive teams, ranked ninth in their league, up from tenth last year.