Over the past weekend, the Palladian Debating Competition for 2018 took place within the intercollegiate community, drawing together talented orators to argue topics ranging from education and economics to identify and international relations. In what was a very high-quality and challenging competition. This year’s Andrew’s team, consisting of Theodora Von Arnim, Rhiannon Hames, Adele Burke, and Xavier Eales, took out first place in the competition after winning all five rounds, solidifying St Andrews’ lead in the Palladian Cup.
The first round saw the team face off against Sancta, arguing on the affirmative side of the topic, ‘ That student union (e.g. the University of Sydney SRC) should not take positions on political issues unrelated to tertiary education’. After a quick break in the dining hall, the team headed over to John’s to argue the negative side of ‘That religious leaders should be prohibited from making political endorsements’. This debate drew a large crowd of spectators from John’s and proved to be an entertaining and interesting discussion from both sides. After an excellent performance from the team, Drew’s came out victorious.
Rounding out the day, the team took on Wesley, debating ‘That we should disincentives the replacement of workers with technology by companies’, on the affirmative. While both teams were tired from a busy day of debates, we were still able to put up good arguments and enjoy some friendly banter and were able to win the last round.
Sunday morning saw us take on Pauls, arguing again on the affirmative ‘That universities should never prohibit teaching or research on the grounds that it has sexist, racist, or other discriminatory implications.’ In what was an excruciatingly close debate, with many issues and points raised from both sides, Drew’s was fortunate enough to be declared the winners, with only one round remaining against Women’s, who were also at this stage of the competition undefeated.
For the final round of the competition, Drews took on Women’s arguing on the negative ‘That the West should fund moderate Madrassas (schools for the study of Islam) throughout the Islamic World.’ With our largest crowd yet, both teams engaged in what was an excellent and high-quality debate, with well-structured analysis and examples, and the occasional cheeky quip from both sides. After a hard-fought round, the adjudicator announced Drews as the winners, rounding out our Palladian debating season as the victors. A massive thank-you must go to all the other colleges for putting up such tough competition, to Xavier Eales for coordinating the season, and for every Androvian who came out and supported us along the way; we couldn’t have done it without you.
Rhiannon Hames (Fr 2018)