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The joint debate between the Freshman and Sophomore debating clubs was held last evening in Sever 11, and resulted in a victory for the Freshman speakers, after a close and excellent contest. The question debated was: "Resolved, That United States Senators should be elected by direct vote of the people." The speakers were as follows: Freshmen, affirmative-A. G. Alley, Jr., M. T. Hall, and I. W. Scott, with W. E. Stillwell as alternate; Sophomores, negative-B. Brooks, A. L. Richards and O. D. Evans, with E. E. Sargent as alternate. The judges were Professor S. M. Macvane, Mr. Richard Cobb and Mr. H. L. Prescott. W. E. Hutton 3L. presided. After a deliberation of twenty minutes the judges awarded the debate to the affirmative. The audience numbered about two hundred and was very enthusiastic.
The Sophomore debaters were rather handicapped in that they had to meet the best speakers from the Freshman class, while the selection of their team was limited to members of the Sophomore Debating Club which does not include those Sophomores who have entered the Forum or the Union. Nevertheless, their superior ability in rebuttal and in the intelligent arrangement of their case seemed to balance matters and made up for the undoubted superiority in delivery which the Freshmen possessed. The rebuttal work all through was sharp and pleasing, and far above that usually shown by first or second year men. Such work is a step forward where improvement is most needed, and is to be strongly commended.
The Freshman speakers showed a good command of language and a fluent delivery. They were a little too oratorical and their speeches rather disjointed, but their argumentative powers were clearly shown and their well drawn inferences more convincing than the occasional illogical statements of the Sophomores. On both sides there was a lack of authorities and a slight tendency toward exaggeration. Evans showed the best preparation of any of the debaters and made a very strong opening speech. For the Freshmen, Scott carried most weight and presented his strong arguments and refutations in a convincing manner.
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