Baltimore City College is celebrating another historic title this week, as national champions of the prestigious National Association for Urban Debate League Championship, held in Washington, D.C. last week.
The school's team won the title after engaging in a heated debate about whether the U.S. federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the country, according to a release from the school.
The school's debate team--students Sophie Bauerschmidt Sweeney and Dikshant Malla successfully--took on the affirmative, using the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, to seal its victory against Chicago's Whitney Young High School in a 2-1 decision.
“We discovered that the last train left the station without people and only the equipment,” said Malla, a senior at City, in the release. “We believe that is wrong and that the government needs to have a new way of looking at its citizens.”
Bauerschmidt Sweeney and Malla, along with another City Policy Debate team of Amena Begum and Joseph Gaylin, will compete at the Tournament of Champions--a level that only 0.8 percent of more than 17,000 debate students reach.
The team's coach, Patrick Daniels, said that he was proud of the team, but more importantly, was proud of what the students demonstrated about the power of public discourse.
“We believe that through the activity of policy debate, we can begin to fundamentally change the way that the poor and disenfranchised are dealt with in society,” Daniels said.
“The [City College] Speech and Debate team are winners and represent dedication, competitiveness, pride, and intellect,” said the school's principal Cindy Harcum, in a statement. “We at City College honor them for their commitment and how they showcase the merits of reason and argument in policy making and planning.”