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Debate Society

DEBATE SOCIETY The Smith College Debate Society was officially started during the 1914-1915 academic year, although students first participated in debates on campus as early as 1900. The purpose of the organization was “to encourage the open communication of ideas and interests outside the classroom; to develop the speaking abilities and the researching abilities of its members; and to create a full time Smith College Intercollegiate Debate Team as a branch of the Smith College Debate Society.” The entire student body was eligible to compete. While the club at first held debates only within the college itself, it soon expanded and by 1918 was holding debates regularly with other colleges on topics such as universal free trade coeducation at Smith and Yale, and U.S.-China relations. In 1991, two Smith College debaters placed 11th out of 140 teams at the World Debate Championships in Toronto and were the third-ranked American team behind two teams from Yale University.

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