While other Princeton students spent their fall break catching up on work and sleep, three undergraduates were busy using their Chinese language skills to become minor celebrities in Singapore and the rest of the Chinese-speaking world.
From left, Jesse Mudrick ’12, John Pardon ’11, and Michael Medeiros ’11 competed in the 2010 International Varsity Debate, hosted by Singapore Media Corporation and China Central Television. (Courtesy Cara Healey *09)
Seniors Michael Medeiros and John Pardon and junior Jesse Murdick represented Princeton – and won their division – at the International Varsity Debate, hosted by Singapore Media Corporation and China Central Television.
The competition began in 1993 and debates are held every other year. The Tigers competed in the non-native speaker division, which also included the University of Sydney, the University of Nottingham, and Korea University.
Preparation for the competition began when the students returned to campus in September and auditioned for the opportunity to represent Princeton on an all-expenses-paid trip to Singapore. Professor C.P. Chou of the Chinese department supervised the trip.
“After we were picked we had practices two or three times a week with the Chinese teachers,” Medeiros said. They worked on debating style and learned what it would take to be successful in the structured, three-on-three debate format.
By Katy Pinke ’10
In March 2009, VH1 television contacted the Princeton debate team. The network was planning to shoot a new week-long program called “The Great Debate,” and the producers wanted to do an “All Stars vs. Ivy Leaguers” episode. The show would premiere in early July as a miniseries in which D-list celebrities debate issues related to pop culture.
Anthony Loring ’11, Charlie Metzger ’12, and Jim Hao ’12 were selected to represent the team in this uncharted forum for debate. Once the three students had agreed to participate, they were provided with a list of topics and possible points and counterpoints.
Their topic: “Which is the better Hulk?” The intimidating opposition — wrestling superstar Hulk Hogan — positioned himself in favor of … himself. The Princeton debaters, on the other hand, argued resolutely for the superiority of a comic-book superhero, the Incredible Hulk.