1929 Geneva Girl’s Debate Team

Photo Credit: 1929 Genevan, McCartney Library

Photo Credit: 1929 Genevan, McCartney Library

In 1929, the Geneva Girl’s Debate team was very successful.  The activity of debate was referred to as a tradition at that time even though it appears that the debate teams only began around the turn of the century.  Through a process including applicants from all over the college, narrowed down through strenuous debating intra-collegiate groups, eight girls were picked to be part of the Inter Collegiate Debate team.  They were divided into the traditional affirmative and negative teams, four on each side.  The debate lasted for the spring only, the first debate on February 20th and the Triangle debates in April 15th.

The topic for this entire year, 1929, was “Resolved, that the American jury system should be abolished.”  The Geneva’s team faced West Virginia University in Morgantown, Theil in Greenvile, and Juniata who came to Geneva.  They even headed to Syracuse New York to debate the Syracuse University, where the Geneva negative team beat the Syracuse positive team.  The girls did well and trained for what was considered to be the main event.

Finally the girls went into the Triangle debates.  The Triangle debates took place between Grove City, Westminster and Geneva.  In these debates, the affirmative team and negative team did not face teams from the same schools.  Geneva won both of their debates this year, with Geneva negative beating Westminster and Geneva’s affirmative beating Grove City.  As a result, Geneva was the winner of the Triange Debates yet again.  The Genevan Yearbook credits this to the talent of the girls on the team and the teachings of Dr. Clarke, their coach.

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