Seniors Bring Home BU Debate Society’s First-Ever APDA National Championship

April 27, 2011

Two members of the Boston University Debate Society, Greg Meyer (CAS’11) and Alex Taubes (CAS’11) won the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) National Championship, the first national championship in the Boston University Debate Society’s history. Meyer and Taubes were part of a contingent of three teams sent by BU to the APDA Nationals, held this year at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.

Following APDA format, the “government” team prepares a case and delivers a short speech in favor of a proposition of their choosing; the “opposition” – with no preparation time – must immediately speak against the proposal. In the semifinals, Meyer and Taubes argued the case: “As a matter of Constitutional law, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided,” against a team from Yale University. In the final round, also against a team from , Meyer and Taubes were again on the government side, and ran the case: “It would be preferable to the status quo if the US Federal Government legalized all recreational drugs and taxed them like cigarettes and alcohol, with the funds going to drug rehabilitation.” By winning that round, they became the first team to win from the government side in the finals of the National Championship since 2005.

The Nationals capped a banner season for Meyer and Tauber. In addition to winning the Nationals, they also were awarded the APDA's Team of the Year Award, making them only the third non-Ivy League school to win the award in the last ten years. In addition, Taubes won the league’s Speaker of the Year Award, given to distinguish individual debaters, and broke the record for the most points by an individual in a season competing for the award.

Other BU debaters also distinguished themselves during the season: Alex and Alison Kennedy (CAS’13) finished in fourth place in the Team of the Year Award standings, and Maddie Powell (CAS’14), was one of the few first year students on the entire circuit to qualify for the National Championships in their first season. BU finished fourth overall for the school-wide Club of the Year Award.

Thanks to funding from the Student Activities Office and the Allocations Board, and with the support and encouragement of Dean Elmore, Dean Sapiro and President Brown, the BU Debate Society was able to compete in more than 20 tournaments during the academic year.


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