Campus News

January 24, 2011

Emory debaters rank No. 1

The Barkley Forum, Emory’s debate team and community service organization, is No. 1 in the national intercollegiate varsity debate rankings, awarded for the fall semester. The team looks ahead to this semester, which will determine who has the yearly title.

The team came in ahead of Northwestern, Liberty University, University of Kansas and Harvard, who rounded out the top five places.

“These are the fall rankings,” say Melissa Wade, director of the Barkley Forum. “We have another semester to go” before the final rankings.

Seniors Ovais Inamullah and Stephen Weil are participating as one of the top six teams by national tournament record in the Dartmouth Round Robin Tournament this month.This will be Emory’s 17th straight year of participation.

Wade says the team is in “a pretty heated battle with Harvard. You cannot be complacent.”

Two hundred colleges compete in contests from August through April. About 50 students are debating in the Barkley Forum, Wade says.

The Barkley Forum, which is also a community service organization, will also partner with Heritage Preparatory Academy, a new debate-themed state charter school for middle school students, scheduled to open this coming fall. Classes will include participation in the Barkley Forum-run Georgia Middle School Debate League.

The debate organization celebrated other good news when the Atlanta-area Urban Debate League, which the Barkley Forum founded, received a $25,000 grant from the Atlanta Housing Authority. The funds will be used in the Barkley Forum’s debate center, after-school programs and summer training programs run in partnership with Georgia State University.

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