The King's Debate Society Finishes Strong
Society hosts public debates following success at nationals
NEW YORK, April 23, 2012—Last Monday, thirteen members of The King’s Debate Society returned to New York City on a red-eye flight, tired but triumphant. They had just competed in the nation’s most challenging tournament, US Universities Debate Championships (USUDC) in Salem, Oregon. King’s debaters outcompeted hundreds of teams and brought back national awards.
Burk Ohbayashi, Josiah Peterson, Josh Craddock, and Noah Heinz broke into the coveted “out-round” slots which are reserved for the top 32 of the 157 teams at the tournament, placing 14th and 19th after six tough preliminary rounds. The rest of the King's teams finished within a few points of qualifying. In addition to this, the King's Coach, Katie Teubl, qualified to adjudicate the competitive outrounds.
Burk Ohbayashi and Josiah Peterson arrived at Willamette University a day early for an extra debate competition. This competition, America's Cup, is an invitational tournament for the top 16 teams from around the nation. Many of the young men and women who compete in the tournament are former international champions who now coach British Parliamentary debate. Despite all this, King’s two undergraduates broke to semi-finals, finishing in the top half of America's Cup 2012 debaters.
King's debaters had their most competitive year since the inception of The King’s Debate Society in 2007. In January, Josiah Peterson and Burk Ohbayashi joined 400 teams from around the world in Manila at the annual World Universities Debate Championships, the most competitive undergraduate debate competition in the world. Shortly thereafter, the King’s Debate Society held its own tournament, welcoming students and coaches from a dozen universities.
In mid April, The King’s Debate Society hosted its first public debates, featuring debaters from the King’s College, St. Johns University, and Ireland. The second public debate was co-hosted by The Ideas Forum, an organization founded by King’s sophomore Samuel Tran to promote dialogue between undergraduate university students on issues in the public square.
Students participating debated the motion: “This house believes that all individuals have a moral duty to live simply in order to have more to give to those in need.” After the debate, two representatives from the Bowery Mission, a New York City homeless outreach organization, joined the discussion. The speakers who helped students answer the question “what next?”
“It’s not always a good idea to give a homeless person money,” said Henry, a formerly homeless man who is graduating from the Bowery with new job-skills and a stirring smile. “But you could take him out to eat, or you could pray with him. That made all the difference to me when I was on the street, when someone would pray with me.”
The organization is currently planning a range of events for the 2012-2013 academic year to further the mission of the organization.
Greg DuBois, the newly elected president of the debate society, is eager for the next year. He said, "as we continue to climb the national rankings, we must remember that we exist not merely to win, but to persuade—to seek and advocate truth in the marketplace of ideas. Making Christian truths palatable to a secular, liberal worldview is no easy task. But it is a challenge I, and the society with me, readily accept."
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in the Empire State Building in New York City.
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