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Debate Society To Host Pitt For ‘Centennial Debate’

The in-state rivalry between Penn State and Pitt has been storied for decades, and the debate team is adding another chapter later this month. The Speech and Debate Society will host the William Pitt Debating Union in Foster Auditorium on April 16 at 6 p.m., and will be free and open to the public. The topic of the debate is whether or not college student athletes should get paid.

The two schools met for the first time in Pittsburgh on April 9, 1915 for a debate on the Monroe Doctrine. Penn State (obviously) won on a 3-0 decision.

The in-state debate with Pitt is a longstanding tradition that was rekindled in 2011 after a brief time when Penn State did not have a debate team. Since then, the two schools have had a regular “home and home” debate series. This year’s face-off comes a week after the 100-year anniversary of the first matchup.

The competition will be judged by Stephen F. Ross and R. Scott Kretchmar. Ross is the director of the Penn State Institute for Sports Law, Policy, and Research. Kretchmar is a professor of exercise and sport science. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions during the debate.

The Penn State Speech & Debate Society is free and open to every undergraduate. They meet at 6 p.m. each Tuesday in 103 Willard. For more information about the team, contact Jeff Kurr, Director of Debate. The rivarly against Pitt is particularly competitive because Kurr was a member of the Debating Union when he was an undergrad at Pitt.

Good luck to the Nittany Lions, and remind Pitt we dominate them both on the field and off.

Image: Speech and Debate Society

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About the Author

Michael Salem

Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, I am a Penn State senior majoring in print journalism with a minor in music performance. I'm a member of the Penn State Blue Band. Get at me by email [email protected], or twitter @m_salempsu


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