Monash debaters to take on historical Wiley College in Texas

Madeline_Debate team

Madeline Schultz who will be debating at Wiley College

The Monash Association of Debaters (MAD) has been invited to take on a fierce competitor with a strong presence in debating history – The Great Debaters of Wiley College in Texas, US.

The history of the Wiley College debating team bears proud badges of courage in the face of racial segregation, when their African American underdog debating team braved discrimination to prove their worth, defeating a University of Southern California all-white team in 1935. The story was depicted in the 2007 period film The Great Debaters, starring Denzel Washington, who portrayed the team's then-coach Professor Melvin Tolson.

The Wiley College debate team have since reinvented themselves and invited Monash to take part in an exhibition debate.

Monash will be represented by Gemma Buckley and Madeline Schultz, ranked among the top best speakers in the world. Gemma and Madeline will debate the topic - reducing economic inequality should be the number one fiscal priority of a nation.

President of Monash Association of Debaters, Sam Whitney has praised the efforts of the team and believes this month’s challenge will be one to remember for Gemma and Madeline.

“It is fantastic to see Monash recognised for their quality around the globe, and to be invited to debate at such a historical college is an opportunity Monash is extremely proud of,” said Mr Whitney. 

After their time in Texas, Madeline and Gemma are travelling to New York where they have been invited to provide coaching to the society at Colgate University and Cornell University. 

The Debate will take place Friday 24 January, at the Wiley College Campus.