Preparations for the tournament began in November and involve collaborations with the beverage company Glacéau; the Office of Student Programs; the Speaking, Arguing and Writing (SAW) Program; and other departments on campus. Tournament director Neha Shah '07 and Carolyn Strobel '09 have organized a weekend of serious debate combined with a fun theme, "That '70s Tournament." Vincent Ferraro, Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics, is the team's faculty adviser.
According to Sandhya Kumar '07, the debate team chair for two years, the tournament is crucial for the team in maintaining a strong presence in a predominantly male debate circuit. She applauds the team for their hard work and effort in preparing for this much anticipated weekend.
In an attempt to share the spirit of APDA debate with the Mount Holyoke community, the final debate round will be open to the public so they can watch the best debaters battle it out for the tournament title. Last year's winning team was a hybrid of Amherst's Alan Lawn and Harvard's Arianna Kelly. The runners-up, Michael Mayernick and Jon Bateman from Johns Hopkins, finished the season as number one on APDA's rankings. The final round is scheduled for 5 pm Saturday, March 4, in Hooker Auditorium. For additional information about the tournament, please contact Neha Shah at email@example.com.