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2016, April, Student Life, The Great Debate, Wang

The Great Debate
by Annie Wang, 2018 (posted 4-12-16)

Recently, 20 Cheshire High School students had the honor of attending the 8th annual Great Debate in Bloomfield, CT. Hosted by the Connecticut branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), every year two colleges debate over prevalent issues in our world. This year’s debate featured two prominent historically black colleges, Morehouse College and Howard University. Other schools in the past have included Wiley College, Yale University, and Harvard University.

The morning began with an introduction by Scott Esdaile, president of the Connecticut NAACP State Conference. After a video on the history of the NAACP, moderator and mayor of Hartford Luke Bronin kicked off the debate. The first resolution stated that the people believe that building a wall along the United States-Mexico border is justified with Morehouse as the opposition. Both teams spoke zealously and with great intensity but had very different approaches on each topic. “I like how we were able to observe different debating techniques that gave one side the clear edge”, says Brian Fox, 2018.

The second debate was on criminal justice and whether the “Three Strikes” law should be repealed. Although some students may have held preconceived opinions on the topics, both teams gave convincing arguments and claims. Lauren Newton, 2018, says, “I learned that there are solid arguments for each side that I had never thought about before”. Overall, the trip was very informative. “I learned how official debates work, how intense they are, and different viewpoints on current topics”, says Isaac Moskowitz, 2018. Not only were students able to gain awareness of important issues, they also learned about how parliamentary style debates work.