The team of Aakash Pattabi ’15, Ammar Plumber ’16, and Darwin Yang ’15 won the 14th Annual International Public Policy Forums (IPPF) debate competition and a $10,000 grand prize. They emerged victorious from the final competition, defeating the runner-up team from St. Paul Academy at the finals held in New York City. The final arguments were judged by William Brewer, partner at Bickel & Brewer and founder of the IPPF; Will Baker, NYU Global Debate Program Director; Melissa Maxcy Wade, Emory University Executive Director of Forensics; and Alex Abdo, an ACLU Staff Attorney. This year’s competition began in October 2014, with 243 teams from across the globe submitting qualifying-round essays. Judges selected the “Top 64” teams, who then participated in a single-elimination, written debate contest by volleying papers back and forth via e-mail. From October to March, the field was narrowed from 64 teams to 32 teams, then 16, and finally to eight.
Founded in 2001, the IPPF allows students to compete in written and oral debate based on issues of public policy. This year, the teams debated over the justification of mass surveillance as a method of government intelligence gathering.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.
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