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INTER-DEPARTMENT DEBATES

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Although the Debating Council has made repeated efforts to stimulate interest in debating, this extra-curriculum activity certainly has not received its due proportion of the time and attention of the members of the University. The inter-class debates, which the Council has re-established, have tended to arouse further interest in the College. However, this year the Freshman class has furnished little promising material and the outlook for a successful team is exceedingly dubious.

The Forums will doubtless aid materially in reviving debating, but unless men in all departments of the University have particular interest in the subjects under discussion, it seems inevitable that the helpfulness of the Forum will be confined entirely to undergraduates.

As a remedy for this, and as a possible stimulus to debating in the entire University, the CRIMSON would suggest a series of inter-department debates. Under this scheme, members of all the graduate schools would have the opportunity to meet the men of the College and could also debate among themselves. The selection of subjects might be so arranged as not to give the members of any one team an undue advantage by assigning a subject, the study of which falls within its own department. We feel that this system would arouse a spirit of rivalry among the departments and would raise debating to a higher level than it now occupies. Such a plan has been successfully adopted at Yale and other large universities, and there is no evident reason why it should not succeed here. The CRIMSON makes this suggestion to the debating authorities for what it may be worth, fully realizing that for some reason unseen by us, it may be deemed impracticable.

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