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3 March 2008

Vermont Bids for USUDC 2009

The University of Vermont seeks to host the United States Universities Debating Championship on its Burlington, Vermont campus in April of 2009.

It started in 1899 when Edwin Lawrence met with his brother and a friend and decided to form a debating program at the University of Vermont. The Green and Gold Debate Club became, in the 1960’s, a program endowed by the generosity of Edwin W. Lawrence 1901, named the Lawrence Debate Union. As the 21st Century dawns the program is expanding beyond national and into international competition.

The world is in the process of becoming a debate community, and the WUDC format has shown academic and argumentative rigor as well as an open opportunity for people around the world from many different backgrounds to compete. It is easy to do but extremely difficult to do well.

America is coming to accept and embrace this format. At WUDC in Thailand 400 teams competed and America had five of the top sixteen.

It is in the spirit of support for the expansion of this global debate effort and in the hopes of creating opportunities for high levels of competition, that we invite you to consider the bid of the Lawrence Debate Union to host the 2009 United States Universities Debating Championship.

Our website is up and running at

At least six prelim debates and quarterfinals, more if numbers justify. Reasonably closed motions in the WUDC style. Two preset debates and the rest power paired. Seven-minute speeches, consensus and oral adjudication, international teams welcome, and an emphasis on excellent judging including special invitations to select international judges.

Neill Harvey-Smith, Chief Adjudicator
Neill is a former World Championship grand finalist and won the John Smith Memorial Mace in both England & Wales and Scotland. He was Chair of the Grand Final at the 2004 World Debating Championships in Singapore, having previously adjudicated the Grand Finals of Worlds, the European Championships, the International Mace. As a student he won around 25 inter-varsity debating competitions. He is also the current President of the World Debating Council.

Alfred Snider, Convener
Has been an active debate teacher for 35 years. Has administered numerous large tournaments, including the National Forensic League’s national championship speech and debate tournament attended by over 5000 people. Has been training in the WUDC format for six years and in 19 different countries.

Easy airport service to Burlington International Airport, including low cost airlines Jetblue, our airline of choice. Most other major carriers serve this airport (BTV). Eight minute ride from the airport to the campus.

Interstate highway 89 leads right to our door from New England.

Amtrak to Essex Junction. Buses to the Pine Street Station.

The University of Vermont has several new classroom buildings ideal for WUDC debate, such as Kalkin Hall and Lafayette Hall. They are all within moments of a central location in one of several different auditoriums.

Beverages will be provided throughout the event, and lunch will be provided each day. Look for specialized lunch entries as far too many cooks show that they can actually cook a great meal. Coffee, tea and juice along with a variety of delightful pastries will be offered each morning. The evenings will be available for you to enjoy the many, many excellent restaurants in our four-season tourist town

There are many excellent facilities in Burlington. In recent years we have used the Best Western Windjammer Inn and Conference Center

Any hotel will be within ten minutes of the campus.

If we receive the bid, will open 1 January 2009.

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