US Debate Update

On Friday and Saturday February 28 and 29, 18 Upper School Hackley debaters, undeterred by recent exams, attended two separate tournaments in New York.

Four Public Forum teams, three Varsity and one JV, enjoyed the last 'regular season' tournament of the school year at the Lakeland Westchester Classic. They debated the efficacy of universal basic income vs. means tested welfare programs, through six rounds over two days.

The day before the tournament, "Hackley YK" (Zach Yusaf and Ben Kirsch) was honored to be invited to the Lakeland Round Robin, hosted by the Urban Debate League in downtown Manhattan. They went 4-1 in rounds there, gaining valuable feedback for the ensuing tournament, where they advanced into Octafinals before forfeiting to assist another school's team in pursuit of a coveted "TOC bid." Their sacrifice was successful, indicating winning isn't everything on the national circuit, and that United, We Help One Another. The round before, Hack YK went 3-0 in ballots running a unique case examining environmental catastrophe - a time-honored obsession in American debate.
Congratulations to Daniel Cai, Harrison Hayward, Michael Lee, Zara Yusaf, Sid Shah, Ben Aybar, Zach Yusaf and Ben Kirsch for their year's efforts, to date!

Columbia (Parliamentary)

On Saturday, February 28, five Hackley Parliamentary debate teams competed in teams of two at the Ivy League Parliamentary Championships at Columbia University, run by the Columbia Debate society. Debating such motions as the need for a third political party, whether universities should abolish their core curriculums, and whether social media has hurt the feminist cause, among many others, Hackley debaters from 8th, 9th, and 11th grade were among approximately 80 teams from around the country at the year-end APDA (American Parliamentary Debate Association) Championship. Eleventh graders Kiri Fitzpatrick and Lily Napach, along with freshman Mason Napach and Michael Potanin, eighth grader Harper Kelsey and ninth grader Arushi Chandra, ninth graders Paul Evans and Amy Kliatchko, and eighth grader Jad Benslimane and eleventh grader Alex Goldman all debated 5 rounds over the course of an entire day across Columbia’s campus. Kiri and Lily just missed reaching out rounds in the top 16, ending up 18th overall and Mason and Mike also went 3-2. This was the first time Hackley has participated in this tournament and we learned a lot from some of the best teams in the country.

We have several more year end Championship tournaments on the schedule through April, but this has been a tremendous year for debate with a record number of debaters participating and number of tournaments attended.