The Instigator
rock022
Pro (for)
Losing
24 Points
The Contender
Korezaan
Con (against)
Winning
40 Points

Should school uniforms be mandatory?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 11,109 times Debate No: 2903
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (21)

 

rock022

Pro

Well, I would not make many points on the opening argument because I definitely think school uniforms should be mandatory. I am interested to hear what the people against school uniforms have to say, and why it would be a bad idea to go that way!
Korezaan

Con

In the words of comedian George Carlin,

"Bad theory. The idea that if kids wear uniforms to school it helps keep order. Don't these schools do enough damage makin' all these kids think alike? Now they're gonna get 'em to look alike too? And it's not a new idea. I first saw it in news reels from the 1930s, but it was hard to understand 'cause the narration was in German!"

I negate, "school uniforms should be mandatory".

First of all, I'd like to say the PRO has provided no case. Therefore, no "new arguments" points against me can be brought up in his R2 because I have no clue what position he's going to be running.

Now, I'm not really sure why uniforms should be mandatory in the first place so I'm not going to be putting any pre-empts in this case, and also since my opponent has not given me his position yet, thinking up of arguments for the PRO and then responding to them when rock022 hasn't actually made any arguments yet will just waste a lot of time.

He also never specifies what he means by mandatory uniforms. Is it high school? College? Kindergarten? Military? What does he exactly mean? At this point he might as well be a shifting advocacy; I signed up for a debate on "uniforms in school" but now I realize I don't even know if its all schools or just public schools, or if the topic is talking about schools at all.

Creating a debate and then making someone else go first doesn't work.

The reason why I negate can basically be summed up by what Mr. Carlin said, and because I think that every reason I've heard so far used to justify mandatory uniforms has not been sufficient.

But since my opponent has not provided any reasons yet, I can't really do much in this debate yet.
Debate Round No. 1
rock022

Pro

I taught I was clear enough on making school uniforms mandatory. My apologies, if I did not provide you with any views at the opening statement, is because everyone I talk to agrees, and I would like an opposite view on the subject.

The statement made by George Carlin was clearly sarcastic and it was a joke, a funny one, thanks I needed a laugh. But the truth is they all do not think alike. Why are we debating if we had the same mentality? The school system in America became a very good one in the 1900's, and then it began to slowly slope downhill.

Back to the uniform subject… some people say that letting students dress as they feel (yes I know there are dress codes) lets the children express themselves and also make a statement. How so? We as a society have gone away from reason. Freedom of speech you may say is violated by making uniforms mandatory. Why? When you enter a restaurant, a Night Club and things of that nature; they reserve the right to remove you from the establishment. You do not find many people against this law. Wouldn't these establishments be violating your freedom of speech? Why should school be different?

Now I am sure you have seen this. A male student which is wearing oversize pants maybe has a belt and is clearly not at waist high or even close to where it was made to be. You can clearly see the SpongeBob boxers Santa Claus gave him. And they are wearing a shirt usually lifted at one side. Well you get that idea. Now for a girl, they would wear clothes made for adult females, not appropriate for their age, with the hair done and plenty make up. You might say: What is wrong with that? That is when a young female places herself in more danger from being assaulted.

Schools are a way to educate our children. Is the system in place the best? I do not think so, but nothing is perfect in the world. Simply by having a school uniform, students could learn to respect rules. Look I know we have good children, but a bad apple can rotten the rest. And looking at the big picture, how can this be addressed. By many ways actually, and school uniforms can be one of them. Not to mention the money saved. Plus that is also a way to ensure outsiders, people who try to influence our children to do wrong by being at the school area, easier to detect. And yes I know if they want it so bad they will just wear a uniform. Like I have said before, nothing is perfect.

Hope I gave you enough.

Almost forgot... the rule should be for high school and below.
Korezaan

Con

It's fine, no worries.

"But the truth is they all do not think alike. Why are we debating if we had the same mentality? The school system in America became a very good one in the 1900's, and then it began to slowly slope downhill."

1) Correct, they don't all think alike. But uniforms encourage that sort of mentality, as proven by fashion today (e.g. ECKO and other brands, lead to a profuse amount of male students using exactly the same language. This is not unique to non-uniform clothing, as unifrm clothing will only enforce an authoritarian and support-the-school mentality, as Carlin suggests.)
2) Jokes are only funny due to some real-life implication.
3) Carlin's reputation as "comedian" does not suddenly mean his views are untrue.
4) No link between uniforms and education; correlation is insufficient.
5) Creativity outweighs education; it is a prerequisite. In order to have education in the first place we need creative minds. If we have everyone dressing the same way and thats ENFORCED, then people won't have the most basic way of expressing their imagination: in what they wear.

"When you enter a restaurant, a Night Club and things of that nature; they reserve the right to remove you from the establishment. You do not find many people against this law. Wouldn't these establishments be violating your freedom of speech? Why should school be different?"

1) "Night Clubs and things of that nature" are privately owned.
2) Laws do not dictate what morals are; morals dictate what laws should be.
3) "Not many people" is a logical fallacy, "Argumentum Ad Populum".

"Now for a girl, they would wear clothes made for adult females, not appropriate for their age, with the hair done and plenty make up. You might say: What is wrong with that? That is when a young female places herself in more danger from being assaulted."

1) No dangers for guys. Already you don' impact half the population.
2) You have not provided a plan or what uniforms will be. Since there is no specification, uniforms for girls might as well be as bad or even worse than what they are right now. And that's before any of the conformity impacts.
3) Creativity outweighs safety as long as they aren't hurting anyone else.

John Stuart Mill explains,

"That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right... The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

4) They chose to wear provocative clothing. It's not like the lack of uniforms necessarily means that all girls will suddenly wear those things. Since not all girls do, you can't claim any impact here.

"Simply by having a school uniform, students could learn to respect rules. "

KRITIK: AUTHORITARIANISM BAD

I'll agree that the point of having school is to educate people, but I don't think that respecting rules is going to lead to any sort of education at all. The only thing that making uniforms MANDATORY will lead to is a population of people that will only know how to do things as long as there are laws and rules about it. By enforcing this, we will necessarily be preventing many children from even hoping to reach the post-conventional stages of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development. The only reason why education matters in the first place is because we want to live in a better society. If we aren't going to encourage people to question absolutely everything, including authority, all this will end up in is a bunch of people that only know how to follow rules and follow the group. This isn't going to lead to a good economy as there would be no more leaders in the market, and this DEFINITELY won't lead to any sort of hero to champion movements for morality and people that change government to operate for the better. For that reason alone you can vote CON because enforcing uniforms doesn't lead to education at all, therefore PRO gets no benefits.

"Look I know we have good children, but a bad apple can rotten the rest."

Not a reason to go PRO.

"By many ways actually, and school uniforms can be one of them."

Well, they aren't. There are other ways, I agree.

"Plus that is also a way to ensure outsiders, people who try to influence our children to do wrong by being at the school area, easier to detect. And yes I know if they want it so bad they will just wear a uniform. Like I have said before, nothing is perfect."

Perfect. You just turned your own argument.

Okay that's fine. I'm arguing that it shouldn't be for schools in general, so all I am is encompassing more than the resolution/topic.

Cool, this thing is 5 rounds. This will be fun.
Debate Round No. 2
rock022

Pro

When it comes to education, private schools tend to do better. This is a general statement, and is mainly due the student to teacher ratio. These schools pay a higher salary for the best teachers, and emphasize higher emphasis on the learning environment, and services such as laboratories, computers and libraries. Unfortunately many people cannot afford such an education. And here is where the public school gets most of the criticism. That would be another debate maybe, and returning to the subject. Schools have to manage what it is given. By establishing school uniforms, students do not stand out by their clothes, or as some might say… their freedom to express themselves. Why? Do clothes actually give students the ability to fully express themselves? Of course not, we know that. Poetry, Art, Music, Writing and many more subjects are the tools that teach us how to do that, express yourself.

>>>>>>"uniforms encourage that sort of mentality, as proven by fashion today (e.g. ECKO and other brands"<<<<<

You are right about the sort of mentality, the one that says we are all equal nothing else. Gangs would have a harder time to display their colors.

>>>>>"Jokes are only funny due to some real-life implication"<<<<<

Ok, so! Here is one real-life application!!!!
Q. Why is the sky baby blue?
A. Because Jesus was a baby boy.

>>>>>"No link between uniforms and education; correlation is insufficient."<<<<<

I differ, Gang related issues at school and peer pressure from the latest fashion, do place a child on a state of mind will and does affect concentration. This might seem small when looked at as a simple matter, but on a greater scale… example: A child has been troubled by the parents who fight almost every day about their financial situation. They cannot afford the new ECKO jeans that you need to wear to be in the "in crowd", he had also just broken up with his girlfriend. This would have been a good moral booster for the kid to have been wearing his ECKO jeans at school. This is just one of the many examples I can give you that are far from reality. This might not apply to all children, parents have a big responsibility to their kids and many need help.

>>>>>"Creativity outweighs education; it is a prerequisite. In order to have education in the first place we need creative minds."<<<<<

By wearing FUBU? Where does the child get the money? And that is when you get a bigger involvement if illegal drugs on school grounds "Easy money" Doesn't this take away from learning. Whatever happened to creativity trough Poetry or Art?

>>>>>"people won't have the most basic way of expressing their imagination: in what they wear."<<<<<

Strongly disagree; this is just an "I want to express myself" excuse. This can be done after school. Why not express it trough dance or literature? Because they the easy way requires no talent, just money.

>>>>>"The only thing that making uniforms MANDATORY will lead to is a population of people that will only know how to do things as long as there are laws and rules about it."<<<<<

Many schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland wear uniforms. Did they take their freedom away?

You ask about what would be the right uniform. The following link should provide you with the basic idea.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Korezaan

Con

(For the first part of this round, "you" will be my opponent.)

"(Private Schools)"

1) No link to why uniforms should be mandatory. Again, only a correlation.

"Do clothes actually give students the ability to fully express themselves? Of course not, we know that. Poetry, Art, Music, Writing and many more subjects are the tools that teach us how to do that, express yourself."

1) I don't think that's true. Clothes are pretty good at expressing things.
2) That's not what I'm saying, I'm saying that it's a way of expression.
3) Are you proposing that Poetry, Art, Music, Writing are the only expressions?
4) Perm. Non-uniform clothing and those subjects are not mutually exclusive.
5) Does not refute my point about how we're hindering their ability to express themselves. By attempting to turn my "creativity" point it means that you necessarily agree with the premises. With that being said, Creativity still outweighs education and since we are hindering their ability to create, regardless of how little or how much it is, the audience votes CON because I have all the benefits of expression through fashion AND all the benefits he gets from his creative writing / music / art classes.

"You are right about the sort of mentality, the one that says we are all equal nothing else. Gangs would have a harder time to display their colors."

Cross-apply explanation of how in order to turn, he accepts premises.
1) You gave no warrant as how gangs would have a harder time displaying their colors.
2) Colors are not a prerequisite for gangs, therefore you can't claim any benefits.
3) You still link directly into my argument that this sort of conformity decreases creativity. You have acknowledged that premise to be true.

"Ok, so! Here is one real-life application!!!!
Q. Why is the sky baby blue?
A. Because Jesus was a baby boy."

1) I would like an explanation here about how this destroys or upholds my argument. As I am not a Christian, I fail to understand the humor in this 'joke'.
2) Even if I lose this argument, George Carlin's advocated position that uniforms lead to conformity still stands, as I have proven it through analytics.

"I differ, Gang related issues at school and peer pressure from the latest fashion..."

1) With this, you concede that fashion is a way of expression.
2) Doesn't affect my concentration one bit. I don't care about being in the crowd, nor does fashion in peer pressure affect me. None of the psychological justifications you give in your example are supported in any way. Would you like to provide a warrant or some evidence for that claim?
3) Solving conformity does not trump individual creativity: The instant you choose concentration and conformity over supposed instability and creativity, I win the round because you have already agreed that creativity outweighs.
4) By instituting mandatory uniforms, you're just going to be pushing the problem elsewhere. Instead of dressing alike, people will group together based on other things, quite probably to things that are beyond our control and things that we don't want to see in school: Categorization in race, gender, ideology, religion, etc. Having this "problem" in school actually keeps out the other disadvantages we'd otherwise.
5) You can't claim "morale boost" if the above argument is true, and you can't claim it anyways because he'll already be going to school in uniform every day.

"Where does the child get the money? And that is when you get a bigger involvement if illegal drugs on school grounds "Easy money" Doesn't this take away from learning. Whatever happened to creativity trough Poetry or Art?"

1) Not my original argument; my point was that in order to have education we need creativity: The only reason why we learn in the first place is so that we have the knowledge and capability to make society into a better place, and also find new things so further generations can do an even better job. You clean drop this argument; that justification already pre-empted and took out your response. But even if.
2) Money from parents.
3) Drugs are nonunique to CON's case.
4) Creativity outweighs learning. We've agreed to that.
5) As I said, perm poetry and art: I get your benefits as well.

"Strongly disagree; this is just an "I want to express myself" excuse. This can be done after school. Why not express it trough dance or literature? Because they the easy way requires no talent, just money."

1) "can be done afterschool" is not a justification for banning it in school.
2) These "excuses" currently outweigh education in the round.
3) Again, perm.
4) Just because it can be done with money and no talent is no reason to go PRO.

"Many schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland wear uniforms. Did they take their freedom away?"

1) I never said "took away freedom", I said "took away creativity".

SUMMARIZATION: ("You" is now the audience)

Since he has not responded to 'Authoritarianism Bad', he can't claim any impacts that you should vote PRO because respecting authority is good. He then keeps going on about education and how that's what school's all about, but I tell you that creativity is a prerequisite for education, and even if that's not true, uniforms and education aren't mutually exclusive, I get all of the benefits he has and the advantages of not wearing a uniform. Then I have the Harms Principle argument from John Stuart Mill, which he also does not respond to. At the point where he hasn't broken through any of those layers, and at the point where he fails to show you that conformity leads to better education, you can already vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
rock022

Pro

Well it seems to me that the issue at hand you have chosen for personal gain. My view in the issue is for the well being of the children at schools today. Shootings have increased one too many. All you debate is how my point of creativity trough learning somehow proves your point of wearing any clothes as an imagination learning tool. You have continuously repeated that I have provided you with no evidence. Ok I will give you what you asked for and a link to read for yourself.

Forget squelching personal choice and freedom of expression. When kids see a polyester plaid school uniform, their first thought is: "Yuck." But statistics now show that making students don the traditional kilts and blazers actually reduces school crime.

In 1995, parents in Long Beach, Calif., decided that putting schoolkids in matching clothes would steer the classroom focus away from sporting the right shoes and hack to learning. The numbers agreed: Since they mandated uniforms five years ago, overall crime in the school district has dropped by a startling 91%. Suspensions are down 90%, sex offenses have been reduced by 96% and vandalism has gone down 69%. Arnold Goldstein, Ph.D., head of the Center for Research on Aggression at Syracuse University, believes uniforms work by promoting a sense of community,, allowing troubled students to feel part of a supportive whole. Says Goldstein: "There is a sense of belonging."

As violence in schools becomes more and more of a concern across the country, educators and parents alike are examining every means possible, including school uniforms, to reduce classroom tensions. While some people claim uniform clothing won't alleviate the anger or instability lurking within potentially dangerous students, the Long Beach experiment proves the system may be worth a shot.

http://psychologytoday.com...

I hope you understand the bigger picture…
SAFETY

P.S. Show me your proof!
Korezaan

Con

"Well it seems to me that the issue at hand you have chosen for personal gain. "

I do not understand this statement.

"My view in the issue is for the well being of the children at schools today. Shootings have increased one too many."

I don't think I'm not looking out for the well being of children in school. The way I see YOUR case, you're saying that uniforms can solve this problem of security.

Audience: At this point in the debate he has basically dropped all his other arguments to support the topic to only use a "security good" approach. Since he chose not to respond to my refutations to his other points in the last round, as long as I prove that security is not a reason to affirm, then you vote CON.

I shall do that momentarily.

"All you debate is how my point of creativity trough learning somehow proves your point of wearing any clothes as an imagination learning tool."

...............that's because you chose to argue against that last round.

I should be calling you out on abuse right now.

"[statistics]"

1) These numbers don't prove anything. They say "it's down 90%", but 90% down from what? From projected numbers? Your article says "overall crime", but what does that include? Why doesn't it say ALL crime? Since the article does not say ALL crime and it's basically picked out results and manipulated numbers, we can't trust what the numbers in this article are saying.
2) "porting the right shoes and hack to learning" - STRAIGHT TURN: HE SAYS WE SHOULD HACK TO LEARN. I VEHEMENTLY OPPOSE THE USAGE OF SICKLES TO BEHEAD PEERS IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE "EDUCATION".
3) EVEN IF the numbers are true, two events happening at the same time does not imply a correlation. It's not as if they kept absolutely all other factors the same and ONLY implemented uniforms, and EVEN THEN, there are external causes. For example, your evidence is from 99. Five years before was 94. Two years before that were the Rodney King trials, which caused mass riots and violence. The drop in violence may have been just another drop in violence in part of the long-lasting ripple effects. I am not very well versed in history to provide other examples, but there's one that applies to your statistic. I need not provide other examples, the burden of proof is not on me but you: You need to show why those drops in rates were as a DIRECT EFFECT of mandatory school uniforms.
4) "There is a sense of belonging" - This is nonunique to uniforms; we can use other alternatives to reach any and all of your benefits. The reason why increasing campus security, funding programs which help students motivations and self esteem, and encouraging teachers to be closer to their students, is because none of these alternatives cause conformity nor decrease creativity. You still haven't responded to my previous round, which basically says that I basically win because you decrease creativity, which is crucial for education, and I can get all your benefits by perming: art classes and whatnot, they can all exist in a non-mandatory school uniform system. However, in a system where school uniforms are mandatory, even if I give you offense from your statistics, I still win because those benefits can be achieved from a different position that DOESNT hamper creativity.

"P.S. Show me your proof!"

Show you what proof? I don't need proof to show my case is true; it's analytical. The only reason why I asked you for proof in the first place was for that one anecdote; you can't have anecdotal evidence without citation: it's a double fallacy. I never really cared about evidence otherwise. If you're asking for justifications, I've already given you that: It's all justifications through logical reasoning.
Debate Round No. 4
rock022

Pro

In Closing:
Should school uniforms be mandatory?
As research for the debate, I brought both Korezaan points and my points for a lunch debate at work today. Kerezaan they said you had your good points and so did I. After an hour debate we had come to the conclusion that the use of a school uniform has too many variables. Your argument of auto authoritarianism was your strongest point. The creativity subject did not have such a strong statement. And the statistics, which backed most of my statements, had a strong point. However it does not apply to all.

So in my conclusion:

A school dress code can be like a dimmer, it could be tighten or loosen depending on the behavior of the students. The mandate of school uniforms is more like a switch, once on there is no off. Both of this methods work, the question is, when will it be administered? To answer that question more research needs to be done. But for the mean time I belive a good rule of thumb could be. If a school is overflowed and things seem to be getting out of hand, yes! Uniforms would be the best solution so far, given the statistics proven earlier. If a school has a small amount of students, the dress code needs to be tighten to resolve the issues. What issues you might ask! Well that is where more research is needed.

Korezaan you have been a great opponent. I appreciate the time you have taken for the debate. As I stated at the beginning, many of the people I have spoken to, agreed to school uniforms. I wanted a different opinion. I look forward to your closing statements.
Korezaan

Con

In short, my opponent has basically stated in his last speech that we should mandate uniforms in school because it will provide security and solutions to problems. But as I've said throughout my previous round, the benefits gained through school uniforms are not unique to school uniforms, and other measures taken do not have the disadvantages unique to uniforms. He is correct: My main point against mandatory school uniforms is that it will lead to conformity, which in school leads to both a cracking down on abilities to express yourself and also a movement towards respecting authority rather than questioning it. I believe that questioning authority is not only a good thing but an educational thing, and leads to us having a brighter student body across the nation. The very simple ability to identify yourself through arranging your clothes are hair impact heavily to creativity, and since creativity is a precedent to education and education is what schools are supposed to do, a student's mere 'fashion statement' actually outweighs.

There's this problem brought up by the PRO that these individual dressing styles leads to some people feeling outcast, and leads to all this violence. However, I have already talked about this before: the solution to this problem can come in a different way; there is no need to mandate school uniforms in order to create more security. There are many unique negative impacts to uniforms - none of which are necessary, and all of which are outweighed.

Sure, school uniforms are cool. But since they lead to authoritarianism, loss of creativity and other things which are not necessary in order to protect the welfare of the students or their schools,

you vote CON.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by orville 8 years ago
orville
some universities does not require school uniforms, but they still look smart.. it`s not in the facade that a school unif0rm brings that makes someone look intelligent.. besides, girls look torrid wearing that skirt..^_^ good job CON..
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
"We all dress according to social rules anyway."

Only if you define "social rules" as "being dressed". I dress like a slob, and I DONT WEAR JEANS *GASP*
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I found this to be a very well-matched debate, but definitely in favor of Con. Especially in the last round where Pro suddenly switched stances towards a compromise. Never a good thing to do during debate. If anything, you should always go stricter towards the extreme.

I feel that the points on individuality and expression have much less weight than we think. If you really think about it, there's no artistic expression anywhere NEAR there. The difference between school uniforms and casual dress is following school rules vs following social rules.

School uniforms don't encourage sheep mentality. Being human encourages sheep mentality. We all dress according to social rules anyway.

This goes on to the point about how leadership develops. It's going to develop regardless, just by personality type. That way, people shine more in terms of personality and thinking instead of by pure physical appearance. We call the latter "shallowness".

That having been said, I vote Con.
Posted by Ninjanuke 9 years ago
Ninjanuke
the third speech and already im rooting for the con -.-
Posted by queendebater 9 years ago
queendebater
if we had to wear school uniforms we would look smarter but people work harder in their personal surroundigns and seeing as we cant work at home we should atleast have our own clothes
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