The Debater Debacle

Tabor Martinsen

You know what sucks more than the Prentiss Dining Hall hours, Whitman’s new website or Tim Tebow? The scrawny but remarkably obnoxious infestation of high-school debaters that plague our campus every fall.

You know they are coming when all the leaves begin to die, along with any hope of eating at Reid Campus Center for a few days, or finding any unclaimed cozy location within a two-mile radius. Reid is the Mothership for the debaters who transform the building into something that resembles a temporary refugee center for Sandy or Katrina victims.

But these four-eyed, pimple-faced encyclopedias have also been reported to commandeer dorm halls, the library and even George Bridges’ bedroom for a night. If the oversized suits with baggy slacks and neon-colored dress shirts weren’t enough, then the cart o’ facts that they proudly wield behind them might make a Whitman student inclined to conveniently push them in front of their Greyhound bus as it pulls up to drop off more mismatching nerds.

They only perpetuate their geeky reputation by each claiming to have come up with the holy grail of debate jokes: “I’m a master ‘bater … get it??” (Here’s a better one, losers, “I’m a cunning linguist … get it?” My guess is they wouldn’t.) The entire situation is compounded by the fact that Whitman seems to be perfectly okay with allowing Reid to fester with these roaches while they eat away at students’ resources and nerves. So what’s the solution to all this? History (and annoying debaters) tells us that the easiest way to eradicate a group of people is through creating internal conflicts. I suggest that the unfortunate losers of each debate be forced to partake in a Battle Royale. This two-birds-with-one-stone approach allows for less Whitman resources to be used, and it gives the debates (which will be open to Whitman students) an added flavor to spice things up.

Not only will there be more motivation for the debaters to do well, but Whitman students will also benefit from the Battle Royales (which will be fought using only binders and fountain tip pens) throughout the tournament. Finally, the lone tournament victor will be given a suit that is actually tailored and then promptly sent back home to gather the next year’s unsuspecting contestants.