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The Bard College Debate Team Hosts Contest Against the University of Vermont in a Public Debate on U.S. Involvement in the Arab Spring

Eleanor Davis
 Image Credit: Photo by Ruth Zisman

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— On Thursday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m., The Bard College Debate Team will take on the University of Vermont in a public debate at Bard College. Three Bard team members will debate three students from the University of Vermont on whether or not the United States should support democracy efforts in Arab Spring nations in a debate titled “U.S. Involvement in the Arab Spring.” The program takes place in the Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito ’60 Auditorium, and is free and open to the public. Audience members will have an opportunity to participate by voicing their opinions, comments, and reactions after the debate. For more information contact Faculty Advisor to the Debate Team, Ruth Zisman, at or Debate Coach, Jennifer Rankin at, or go to

The Bard College Debate team enjoyed a successful start of the 2011-2012 season at last weekend’s Binghamton Tournament, the college debate opener in the Northeast.  Bard freshmen Hanze Song and Marissa McOmber were novice semi-finalists, while sophomore Patrick Jordan and Program in International Education student Timothy Lai reached the finals. Song was named third place novice speaker and McOmber placed ninth. In all, twelve students debated and three judged. Others came close to making the elimination rounds, and the team enjoyed successes against regional powerhouses Cornell University, University of Rochester, and University of Vermont. The tournament marked the return of former debate coach, now faculty debate adviser, Ruth Zisman to Bard.

Since 2004, the Bard College Debate team has competed at the highest levels of both the World Universities Debating Championship and Cross Examination Debate Association, traveling every year to numerous inter-collegiate debate tournaments at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Bard also hosts several public debates, debate workshops, and debate-related lectures (all open to the public) every semester. The team was named “Best New Program” by Columbia University in 2005 and “Program of the Year” by the Society Advocating More and Better Argumentation. In 2007 Bard College was tied for 9th place in the country at the Cross Examination Debate Association National Championship and, in the same year, Bard College qualified for the National Debate Tournament (an elite national championship that invites only the top ranked teams in the country) for the first time in the college’s history. In 2008, at the team’s first WUDC tournament ever, Bard College won the tournament and was awarded 1st place.

To download hi-resolution images go to:

For more information about the Bard College Debate Team, go to debate/bard/edu.

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This event was last updated on 09-29-2011