Loyola University Chicago’s Debating Society hosted the British National Team to a debate on the topic “This House regrets the re-election of Barack Obama” on October 21, in Regis Hall on Lake Shore Campus.
Representing the Loyola Debating Society were Phillip Kraft and Joe Carroll. Last year Kraft and Carroll placed 13th in the nation at the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence and won a study tour of Europe through the Elysee Treaty Debate competition.
The British team, Nesahy Aqueel, a member of the Pakistani National Debating Team and Charlie Morris, a history and politics graduate from the University of Sheffield, chose to defend the debate topic.
Aqueel, was the best speaker at the ESU Pakistan’s National Public Speaking Competition in 2009, represented Pakistan in the IPSC in London in 2009, and competed in the World Schools Debating Competition in Qatar in 2010. After graduating from University College Lahore in 2011 with an LLB Hons she continued her legal studies at the University of Kent where she was the Best Speaker at the First Internal Kent Debating Competition in 2012.
Morris graduated with a first-class degree in History and Politics from the University of Sheffield. His research interests include U.S. Foreign Policy in the Great Lakes region of sub-Saharan Africa, and the politics of development in Rwanda. During his time at university, he was an active member of the UK debating circuit, winning several competitions and finishing as part of the top-breaking team at tournaments in London, Dublin, Paris and Budapest.
Morris started the debate by noting that President Obama has not lived up to his promises on a wide range of issues including the closing of Guantanamo Bay and by claiming Mitt Romney would have done a better job on the economy. During the debate Aqueel shared her perspective as a citizen of Pakistan on drone strikes. Several members of the audience commented on the effectiveness of her presentation.
The Loyola team countered by touting the accomplishments of the President on health care, the stimulus, and his achievements in foreign affairs. The question and answer session brought a wide range of questions from the audience that each team did an excellent job of handling. In the end the audience was evenly split on who the winner of the debate was.
Kraft, Loyola team president, said that they learned a great deal from their opponents both during the debate and after. “It was great that we had some time to sit down with them and talk about different strategies used in international competitions” Kraft said.
The British debaters also had an opportunity to share some of that knowledge by meeting with students and giving a guest lecture to a class. The British are off to Lincoln Nebraska and next up for Loyola is a competition at Purdue.