Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Debate: Yale vs. Harvard vs. Brown

Last April, high-school debaters took the stage after collegians from Yale, Brown and Harvard debated. Judges (top) conferred to select winners (Kaminsky photos).

The showdown is set. Once again, it's Yale vs. Harvard vs. Brown in the annual debate held in Westchester and sponsored by alumni groups from all three schools.  Yale has not yet faced the Cantabs or Bears in football. Those skirmishes are scheduled for mid-late November at the Yale Bowl. Debate comes first, when students from all three colleges will compete at Blind Brook High School in Rye Brook (840 King St.) Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:15 pm.

Yale, Brown and Harvard alumni, high-school students and debate enthusiasts everywhere are invited to witness the students spar off, as they debate important topics in current events.

The Westchester debate program is now 16 years old. When the competition started, Yale teams debated groups from Harvard and Princeton. Brown eventually replaced Princeton.  The competition this year will feature, as always, debate teams from several high schools in the area, including those from Ardsley, Blind Brook, Hackley, Horace Greeley, Rye Neck and Yonkers.

Ann Gaylin, an associate dean at Brown, will act as moderator and judge.  A representative from Yale's admissions office will join her to present topics, ask questions, and choose winners. The format calls for the college students to take the stage first.  Three high-school debates, featuring the six teams, will follow.  Often the college students coach or assist the high-school teams.

Susan Kaminsky '86, YWAA board member, has been involved in planning this year's competition, along with alumni Leelee Panno (Harvard), Amanda Nash (Brown), and YWAA board members Bill Nightingale '53 and Scott Sherman '72.

YWAA will honor Nightingale, the steady, guiding hand behind the Westchester debate program the past 16 years, at a dinner Friday, Nov. 8 in West Harrison. Alumni supporters and all those interested in seeing spirited square-offs among Yale, Harvard and Brown in the years to come are urged to contribute also to the new Nightingale Debate Fund.

For more about the dinner and fund, coordinated by Merrell Clark '57, '70 MAR, click NIGHTINGALE and YWAA. For more about the debate, click YWAA-DEBATE.


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