Peaslee Takes Home Win At Bryn Mawr

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Swarthmore’s Amos J. Peaslee Debate Society took home a local win last weekend at Bryn Mawr College and rose from 20th to 10th in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) rankings. Three out of the five teams that went broke into the quarterfinals of the competition.

In the final Linnet Davis-Stermitz ’12 and Kyle Crawford ’12 faced off and won against fellow swatties Sam Sussman ’13 and Lorand Laskai ’13. But Sussman and Laskai won the novice division by a mile by coming in second place in the over all tournament.

APDA tournaments have no set topics. The government side proposes a case (a question the average college student would know something about) and the opposition argues against it. This weekend the topics ranged from abolishing executive pardons to Harry Potter, in the final round.

“We just wrote out this case ten minutes beforehand [arguing] that wizards should repeal the International Statute of Secrecy […] Basically the idea was the wizards should collectively come out to the muggle world and do good,” said Crawford, who debated in front of a panel of five judges and as well as an audience of fellow debaters.

His opponent Sussman argued, albeit it unsuccessfully, that this would lead to Muggle-carthyism, the prosecution of anyone thought to have magical powers. “Imagine the social chaos for example induced by the uncertainty as to whether any given historical figure, Shakespeare, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, was a wizard, right? What it means to be human is thrown into doubt if all of our greatest exemplars of conduct are potentially wizards. Trust in every social institution would be undermined.”

Another Swarthmore team, Andrew Waks ’13 and Griffin Olmstead ’15, traveled to New York University this weekend and took home first place in the novice division. Both were also recognized for their individual speaking performance.

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