Students Open to Debate As Annual Competitions Held

Students Open to Debate As Annual Competitions Held

Oratory reigned at Boston College this past week with the staging of the 109th annual Fulton Prize Debate in Gasson Hall and arguments in the Grimes Moot Court competition before a panel of three federal judges at BC Law School.

Kevin Hartzell, '02, won the gold Fulton Medal as top speaker in the Fulton Prize Debate on April 19, and will have his name added to the roll of winners since 1890 lettered on the wall of the ornate Fulton Debate Room in Gasson 305.

The question debated was whether the United States should remove all economic sanctions against Iraq. Hartzell and teammate Paul Sutton, '03, argued in the affirmative, and Hartzell won the top-speaker honor even though his side did not prevail in the debate.

The Fulton Prize Debate has a gloried history at Jesuit Boston College, where in the early years the annual debate was a highlight of the academic year.
Previous winners of the Fulton Medal have included James Michael Curley Jr. '29, son of the famed Boston mayor; Lawrence J. Riley, '36, who went on to be auxiliary bishop of Boston, and John J. Curtin Jr., '54, JD '57, who would later be president of the American Bar Association. Last year, Mario Powell, '03, became the first freshman and first African-American to win the prize.
Competitors parried under the gaze of Cicero, Daniel Webster and other famed orators of history whose portraits adorn the ornate Fulton Debate Room, which was filled to capacity for the event.

Christopher Schroeck, '04, received the sterling silver Gargan Medal as second-best speaker in the debate.

The annual Grimes Moot Court competition at Boston College Law School on April 18 was won by the team of Craig Kowalski, Law/LSOE '02, and Neil McDevitt, Law '02, who presented arguments in a hypothetical First Amendment case centering on Internet filtering software.

Presiding were Judge Samuel Alito of the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals and US District Court judges Ellen Huvelle and Edward Harrington.

The Grimes Moot Court, sponsored annually by the Board of Student Advisors at BC Law, is an in-house competition in which second-year students argue mock cases in trial settings. Thirty-seven teams of two students apiece compete in the tournament.

US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia headed the panel at last year's competition.

-Mark Sullivan

 

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