MIT Debate Beats Harvard, Advances to Quarterfinals

The MIT Debate Team capped three weekends of success with its performance at Yale University this past weekend, beating Harvard and Princeton Universities, as well as teams from Ireland and Canada to advance to the quarterfinals.

The team of Adam J. Goldstein ’10 and team president William H. Magnuson ’09 finished ninth out of a field of 92, with Goldstein finishing as the top individual speaker at the tournament.

The team debated topics including limits on executive compensation, parental liability for children’s crimes, legalization of opium production in Afghanistan, and accepting Ukraine into NATO.

The team’s performance at Yale comes on the heels of success at Vassar College a week before, with Goldstein and partner Nic Zhou from Amherst taking the first place spot and Magnuson and Sharmin Karim ’10 finishing fifth. The same weekend, Magnuson took home the second place individual speaker award, Karim the fourth, and Goldstein the fifth.

Two weeks ago, Goldstein and Kathleen A. Clark-Adams ’10 reached the finals for the second consecutive year at Harvard in the largest tournament of the year.

After a period of disappointing results, the MIT Debate Team has come to life in recent years. Two years ago, a team from MIT was ranked second nationally, and last year Goldstein and Clark-Adams finished the year third nationally, the best performance by a pair of sophomores in history.

The team will be attending upcoming tournaments at Brown University, Tufts University, and Fordham University. In December, Magnuson and Goldstein will represent MIT at the World Debating Championships in Cork, Ireland.