Debate Union

BPI Debate Union

BPI debate team on stage with West Point team


In April 2014, BPI hosted and won its first intercollegiate debate against West Point on the question of whether the US government should invest in a national high-speed rail system. Since then, over 150 students have been members of the BPI Debate Union, building a successful record against debaters from internationally respected teams such as Harvard, Cambridge, and Morehouse. 

BPI Faculty Fellow and Director of Debate David Register has led the team from its inception and meets weekly with members to analyze research, discuss strategy, and practice debate. He is also Co-Director of the Bard Debate Union on the college’s main campus, which promotes civic discourse, dialogue, and debate throughout the Bard community, the greater Hudson Valley region of New York, and the world at large.




Vs. Harvard University, May 2023, Winner: Harvard
Topic: The corporatization of higher education does more harm than good.

Vs. Brown University, December 2022, Winner: Bard
Topic: The number of justices on the Supreme Court should be increased.

Vs. University of Pennsylvania, April 2021, Winner: University of Pennsylvania
Topic: The United States should provide monetary reparations for Indian boarding schools.

Vs. Morehouse, December 2021, Winner: Bard
Topic: The celebration of Malcolm X as an autodidact does more harm than good.

BPI Vs. BPI, May 2021, a public-style (virtual) debate in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Topic: Seeing addiction as a disease does more harm than good.

Vs. Duke University, November 2019, Winner: Bard
Topic: The United States Federal Government should provide substantial support for clinical trial of human germ-line genome editing.

Vs. University of Cambridge, April 2019, Winner: Bard
Topic: All states should have a right to nuclear weapons.

Vs. University of Pennsylvania, November 2018, Winner: Bard
Topic: Puerto Rico should be a U.S. state.

Vs. West Point, April 2018, Winner: Bard
Topic: The United States should nationalize its water resources.

Vs. Morehouse, December 2017, Winner: Bard
Topic – Resolved: Race-based affirmative action in college and university admissions should be eliminated.

Vs. West Point, April 2017, Winner: Bard
Topic – Resolved: the rapid automation of labor does more harm than good.

Vs. Brown, September 2016, Winner: Brown
Topic – Resolved: the President of the United States should be elected by popular vote.

Vs. West Point, April 2016, Winner: Bard
Topic – Resolved: American corporations should not have constitutional rights.

Vs. Harvard, September 2015, Winner: Bard
Topic – Resolved: Public schools in the United States should have the ability to deny enrollment to undocumented students.

Vs. West Point, April 2015, Winner: West Point
Topic – Resolved: The United States Federal Government should nationalize the pharmaceutical industry.

Vs. the University of Vermont, September 2014, Winner: Bard
Topic – Resolved: NATO should be immediately disbanded.

Vs. West Point, April 2014, Winner: Bard
Topic – Resolved: The United Stated Federal Government should invest in a national high speed rail system.

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