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U.S., British Debaters Take On Iraq Withdrawal

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October 12, 2005 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Spectators can expect sparks to fly Thursday, Oct. 13, when members of the Northwestern University Debate Society take on debaters from the British National Debate Team. The teams, with some of the world’s best debaters, will take opposing positions on whether George Bush and Tony Blair should establish a timeframe for a quick withdrawal of allied forces from Iraq.

The Great Debate will begin at 7 p.m. in the McCormick Auditorium at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus. It is free and open to the public.

The debate format will be decidedly more British than American, making for a lively evening of British/American rivalry that dates back to the 18th century. The British style of debate typically emphasizes spontaneous reaction, while the American style places a greater value on advance preparation.

Both teams are formidable. Earlier this year, the Northwestern Debate Society celebrated its 13th first-place victory in the prestigious National Debate Tournament championship and its third first-place victory in the last four years. Members of the British debate team represent the very best college debaters in Great Britain.

The debate about the war in Iraq is part of the University's Great Debates Series, a project that seeks to stimulate undergraduate awareness of critical issues of the day. The Great Debates are co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the University’s debate society and the Center for Student Involvement.

For further information about the Oct. 13 event, contact Northwestern’s debate team at (847) 491-7916 or via e-mail at m-parrott@northwestern.edu.