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After Competitive Season, Bard Debate Union Turns to Local Outreach, Global Network

The Bard Debate Union at the Yale IV Tournament on October 28.
After ending the competitive debate season with a victory at the University of Vermont's Huber Debate Tournament, the Bard Debate Union has shifted focus to civic engagement activities in the Hudson Valley area and the global Bard Network. 

On November 10, the Debate Union hosted a high school debate workshop for 20 students and teachers from Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Woodstock, Poughkeepsie, Pawling, and Cold Spring. Bard students offered sessions on debate skills and then coached and judged two full practice debates for the visiting students. Debate codirectors Ruth Zisman and David Register worked with teachers on debate pedagogy. Debate topics included whether trial by jury should be replaced with trial by judge and whether the world would be a better place if it were impossible to lie. “This is a wonderful opportunity for Bard debaters to take the position of educator and mentor and to see the potential of debate outside of a competitive framework,” Zisman said.

On November 12, the Debate Union hosted the Biannual Intranetwork Online Debate. Students from Al-Quds Bard, American University of Central Asia, Bard College, and Bard College Berlin gathered for a virtual debate. The topic was whether English should be the primary language of education in developing countries. The Bard Network campuses are currently nominating students to participate in the 3rd Annual Bard Network Debate Conference at Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, which takes place March 9–14.

Finally, on November 18, the Bard Debate Union hosted the Vassar College Debate Team for a one-day Bard-Vassar debate scrimmage, helping students from both teams to improve by working with new students and new arguments. Debate topics included whether human beings should strive for immortality and whether mainstream news outlets should boycott White House press briefings. 

This Friday, November 30, the Bard Debate Union at Eastern New York Correctional Facility will compete against the University of Pennsylvania on the topic: Should Puerto Rico be a U.S. state? In the new year, Bard debaters look forward to hosting a debate workshop as part of Bard’s MLK Day of Engagement, another virtual debate with Bard Network campuses, and the 8th Annual Middle and High School Debate Tournament at Bard, as well as attending the International Bard Network Debate Conference at CEU.
More info: https://debate.bard.edu/
Post Date: 11-27-2018