Sabre in Hand, Fulton Society Emerges Victorious

Sabre in Hand, Fulton Society Emerges Victorious

The Boston College Fulton Debating Society recently added to its distinguished tradition by capturing one of the most coveted prizes in American collegiate debate competition.

Director of Debate John Katsulas (center) and Fulton Debating Society members Jeffrey Sullivan '06 (left) and Kevin Shatzkin '05 display the prizes won by BC at the recent West Point invitational tournament. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)
Last month, the Fulton Society earned its first-ever victory in the annual West Point invitational tournament varsity division and took home the West Point sabre, a traveling trophy awarded each year to the winning school since the 35-year-old competition began.

BC is currently ranked among the top five debate teams in the nation, according to director John Katsulas, who coached the team to its win.

The tournament, held at the US Military Academy in upstate New York, was attended by more than 100 debate teams from schools such as defending champion Cornell University, as well as Catholic University, New York University, Penn State and Trinity.

In the varsity division, sophomore Kevin Shatzkin and freshman Jeffrey Sullivan compiled a perfect 6-0 record during the preliminary rounds. BC met Liberty's top team in the semi-finals and was victorious in a unanimous decision, setting up a final round debate between BC and Cornell. The BC team had the affirmative position, advocating that the United States should ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

According to tradition, the final round of the West Point tournament is judged by three military officers, this year led by Lieutenant Colonel Michael Meese, son of former US Attorney General Ed Meese and head of the social sciences department at West Point. BC defeated Cornell in a 2-1 decision, earning the right to bring back the traveling sabre.

The choice of sabre as a trophy is said to be a nod to a past West Point tradition of awarding sabres to graduating seniors. Past winners have included Harvard, Dartmouth and the U.S. Naval Academy. BC also received a black West Point military helmet, which the winning school is allowed to keep as a permanent trophy.

Other top BC performers at West Point were the junior varsity team of sophomore Ryan Miller and freshman John Powell, who reached the quarterfinals of the tournament.

-Patricia Delaney


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