Stanford, UAA debate teams plan exhibition 'rematch'

Mike Dunham
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News

When the smoke cleared at the World Universities Debating Championships in Manila, Philippines, back in January, the University of Alaska Anchorage had earned 64 points, edging out Stanford University, with 63 points, for second place. Yale took first.

Call it a rematch: On Thursday, the Stanford Debate Society will go jaw-to-jaw with the Seawolves in an exhibition match at UAA. The public is invited to attend.

"We debate against a lot of folks when we travel to tournaments outside," said UAA coach Steve Johnson. "We're most excited about bringing a team of (Stanford's) caliber to Alaska to showcase for an Alaska audience what good, competitive debate can be."

The question before the house will involve hate crime legislation.

"The recent verdict in the Tyler Clementi case has shined a spotlight on whether imposing additional punishments on crimes motivated by hatred serves justice," said Johnson, so it should be both timely and interesting."

Clementi was a student at Rutgers University who jumped to his death after his roommate posted webcam photos of him having sexual encounters with another male. The roommate was charged with invasion of privacy and hate crimes -- the legal term is "bias intimidation" -- and convicted on March 16 of this year.

The debate will start at 7 p.m. and take place in the UAA Fine Arts Building recital hall, room 150. Immediately following the match, the Alaska team will host a reception for the visitors at the Fireside Cafe in the Student Center.

Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.

Anchorage Daily News