School hosts public debate tournament

Sabrina de Brito

Indu Pandey ’18 debates against Crossroads student Noah Simon arguing for the ban of handguns. This debate was part of the Round Robin competition, preceding the tournament. Credit: Liz Yount/Chronicle

The upper school debate team hosted a public debate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 18 in Rugby Auditorium.

Members of Team USA, the national debate team, argued about whether or not identity politics threatened the future of the Civil Rights Movement in a modified World Schools debate format.

Judges ruled in favor of the proposition team which argued that identity politics would fracture political groups to the point where there was no political majority left to affect change, according to team member Liz Yount ’17.

“Being able to articulate a very complex and very timely topic in front of a panel of judges who are experts in the field, who are able to give us constructive criticism, not only helped me to understand identity politics both in a macro and micro sense but also helped me to become a better debater in the way in which I speak about issues that are very sensitive in society,” Yount said.

Members of the upper school debate team said they hope to host more forums in the future which reach out to other debate communities across the country.

Addtionally, Indu Pandey ’18 qualified for the Tournament of Champions at the Barkley Forum debate tournament at Emory University Jan. 29-31.

She is the first sophomore to receive the two required bids in the past two years.

“We were actually just hanging out in a restaurant and our head coach found out that Nick [Steele ’16] would be walking over me, so I would get my bid without having to debate,” Pandey said. “Honestly, I was pretty afraid that I wouldn’t [get a bid] because it’s near the end of the year and getting bids to the TOC as a sophomore is really hard to begin with. I thought I would have to go to Berkeley to get my bid. And I actually found out I was going to the Barkley forum a few days before.”

Also at the same tournament Nick Steele ’16 finished second overall and Cameron Cohen ’16 advanced to quarter finals, earning his sixth bid to the TOC this year and the school’s 20th bid this season.