Thursday, October 8, 2015

Yale Set to Defend Its Debate Title

Hackley School hosted last year's debate (above), as Yale emerged the winner against Brown and Princeton. (YWAA photos)
At the annual Westchester debate competition, you can always count on (a) a tough topic with acres of gray area, no definitive line between right and wrong, (b) audience members on the edge of their seats curious about how student debaters will handle the pressure while a clock ticks, and (c) Ivy League squads spouting fiercely their arguments one hour, but trading campus stories and e-mail addresses the next.

This year the Yale debate team will confront a team from Princeton at the annual Westchester event Nov. 6 (7:30 pm)  at Byram Hills High School in Armonk.  Save the date, and come out to hear well-crafted arguments on a topic that could range from Congressional mud-slinging, education reform and the Common Core to Middle East tension or favorite computer apps among the young.

As in the past, high-school teams from the area will be invited to compete and will be coached by the Yale and Princeton students.

The debate program is funded in part by YWAA's Bill Nightingale '53 Debate Fund.  Nightingale, once again, is a lead organizer this year and an expected emcee.

Yale won last year, as debaters opined on whether the U.S. should increase its involvement to combat ISIS aggression.  Brown was a 2013 winner at Rye Brook, when debaters argued whether schools should monitor Internet activity of students during the school day.

Harvard, a long-time participant in the program, is not scheduled to appear this year.  The team, however, has made a news splash all over social media this fall after its recent loss in a debate against prison inmates in Upstate New York.

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