1919-1920 Whitman Speech and Debate Team



Description: Description: Description: Description: 1919-1920 Miss Gardiner Description: Description: Description: Description: 1919-1920 G 

Miss Gardiner was coach for the Freshmen and Professor Sawtelle for the Sophmores.

(George Marquis, advisor to the team)

Frances Penrose, Walter Eels, and Frances Schubert were the faculty members of DSR.


Whitman News

I. Whitman College in 1919-1920

A. Eugene H. Woodruff was the student body president.

B. S.L. Penrose was the college president.

C. Harper Joy was the debate manager.

II. In the world

A. Recent women’s movements sparked significant change. The 19th Amendment was ratified to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote.

B. The Pioneer ran ads for shoe polishing needs and corsets.

C. For women, campus clothes were dresses while men wore suits of varying degrees of formality to most occasions.

D. The student body was almost 3,000.

III. At Whitman College

A. The forensics team became one of only four other colleges in the region to join the national forensics association called Delta Sigma Rho.

B. From 1900 to 1920, Whitman debate had won 36 of 56 tournaments. It was the team to beat.

C. The topic for intercollegiate men’s debate was “Resolved: That immigration from Southeastern Europe should be restricted.”

D. For women the topic was “Resolved: That prior to the right of strike or lockout, labor and capital should be compelled to submit their disputes to arbitration, constitutionality waived.”

E. The team had its largest membership to date, with 25 members.


Description: Description: Description: Description: 1919-1920 Delta Sigma Rho


Description: Description: Description: Description: 1919-1920 Conservatory of Music



Speech in the English Department News

p. 81


5. Advanced Composition. Usually exposition and the personal essay are given chief attention in this course. Two hours, third term. Open to Juniors and Seniors.



6. Oral Composition. This course aims to develop the ability to speak effectively. It is an organic part of Course 1. It supplements Course I in the study of the principles of composition and gives practice in the application of them in speaking. Attention is also given to the formation of right vocal habits. One hour, first, second, and third terms. Required of Freshmen.

7. Argumentation and Debate. The aim of the course is not so much to develop skill in formal debate as to give the student the power to consider disputed questions calmly and logically. Two hours, first and second terms. Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.

8. Public Speaking. This course is devoted chiefly to the composition and the delivery of occasional speeches and short orations. Two hours, first term. Open to Juniors and Seniors.

9. Oral Interpretation of Literature. This course is intended to meet the needs of students who expect to become teachers of literature. Two hours, second term. Open to Juniors and Seniors. Drill is given to all speakers who compete in contests and to those who appear on the Commencement program.



10. Old English This course includes an introduction to the study of language, a study of the linguistic principles involved in the development of English, and the reading of selections in Bright's Anglo-Saxon Header. Three hours, first term. Required of prospective teachers of English.

p. 102


The Commencement Marshalship—



The William Thomas Dovell Prizes in Oratory—


Second: WILLIAM ORVILLE DOUGLAS, Class of 1920


The Christopher Columbus Gose Prizes in History—

First: ELIZABETH MAE ANDREWS, Class of 1920

Second: LETA PEBBY, Class of 1919


The John Brining Prizes in Freshman Extemporaneous Speaking-

First: HAROLD EUGENE MOGAHEY, Class of 1922

Second: JAMES HARPER JOY, Class of 1922


World News


A. The Versailles Peace Conference occurs.

B. Treaty of Saint-Germain is signed.

C. The White Russian Army is defeated.

      D. “Poland invaded Russia in April, after demanding a return to the boundaries of 1772.”

E. “The British instituted the anti-sedition Rowlatt Acts, which gave the government the power to intern agitators without trial. Mohandas Gandhi called for a day of work stoppages and fasting throughout India. … On April 13th, British General Reginald Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on demonstrators at Amritsar in the Punjab of India.” *

      F. “Afghan ruler, Amanullah Khan, proclaimed a religious war against the British.” *

      G. “Navy Curtiss Seaplane landed in Lisbon. This was          the first crossing of the Atlantic.” *

      H. “A flu pandemic…killed from 50 to 100 million people across the globe.” *

I. “The Japanese fire upon a demonstration by Koreans yearning for freedom from Japanese rule.” *

J. “British occupy Constantinople.” *


Team News

Debate at Whitman

            Debate enthusiasm at Whitman during- the past year shows remarkably the impetus given the pursuit of that activity by the entrance into the college of the national debate society, Delta Sigma Rho. A chapter of this society was granted immediately upon the first petition made by the local fraternity, Delta Nu Lambda, in May 1920. Installation was held at commencement time of last year, when twenty-five Whitman debaters, including present students and alumni, were initiated. The officers elected at that time were Harper Joy, president; Sidonie Pyle. vice-president; Ralph Cordiner, secretary; Elizabeth Peters, treasurer.

            Whitman has the distinction of being one of the four institutions on the Pacific coast in which Delta Sigma Rho is represented, the other three being the University of California, LA and Stanford University, and Washington State College, and Whitman has the further distinction of being the smallest institution into which this national society has ever entered.

            This may be accounted for by the high standard which Whitman has always maintained in forensics and by the exceptional ability which Whitman debaters have displayed in the last ten years. The personnel of her debating teams and the intense interest and zeal which her debaters have shown in their work has won for Whitman thirty-four out of the fifty-nine forensic contests with the state Universities of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in the last twenty years. And of the fifteen debates with Washington State College, Whitman has won ten. During the last four years, forensic activity has been confined to two dual debates annually with the University of Washington, one for men and one for women, and Whitman has the record of having won nine of these sixteen contests.

            This past year, Delta Sigma Rho has done much to foster interest and participation in forensics. For this society is not, as were the Whitman Debate Society and the Debate Council of past years, merely an honorary society for the sole purpose of giving to Whitman debaters special recognition. But its further purpose is to foster in every way possible greater interest and participation in debating and public speaking. It was this organization which was instrumental in establishing- a Freshman-Sophomore debate both for men and for women. This gives Freshmen an opportunity for practice and improvement before they are permitted to try for the Varsity teams. There was also arranged this year, for the first time, a men's dual debate with Willamette, which shows promise of continuance in the years to come. Two other varsity dual debates were held as usual this year with the University of Washington, a women's debate and a men's debate.


Freshman-Sophomore Men's Debate:

Unanimous Decision for Freshmen.


In the first inter-class debate in the history of the college, the Freshmen men's team won from the Sophomores a unanimous decision on the affirmative of the question: "Resolved, That the United States should enter the League of Nations exactly as it stands in the Versailles covenant". The Sophomore team was composed of Grant Bean, Chester Lesh, and Joseph Tewinkel; and their main contention was the impossibility of acceptance of the league because of the opinion of the people and the complexion of the Senate, The Freshman team, consisting of Virgil Thomas, Gordon Gilmore, and Arthur Douglas, endeavored to prove the advisability of the adoption of the Versailles covenant, and won the debate by a unanimous decision on their challenge that not the opinion of the people, but the merits of the case was the relevant matter in the contest. This was very ably brought out by Arthur Douglas in a forceful rebuttal which concluded the debate. Miss Gardiner was coach for the Freshmen and Professor Sawtelle for the Sophomores.


Freshman-Sophomore Women's Debate


Two to One Decision for Sophomores


In the Sophomore-Freshman Women's debate, December 13, the Sophomores upheld the negative of the question: "Resolved, That Japanese should be admitted to the United States on the same terms as other aliens", and won a two to one decision on it. Their team was composed of Evangeline Fix, Mabel Wood, and Marjorie Palmer. They refuted the affirmative arguments that the Japanese made desirable, loyal citizens, and that they were a necessity, by facts showing that they were undesirable politically and economically. In the strongest rebuttal of the evening, Fern Coble of the Freshman team, upheld eloquently the affirmative's plan of restriction of undesirables from all countries, and proved herself a promising debater. The other members of the Freshman team were Erma Martin, and Katherine McGonigle.


Men's Varsity Dual Debate


Both Decisions Two to One for Whitman.


"Resolved: That immigration from Southeastern Europe should be restricted", was the very interesting question of the men's fourth annual dual debate between Whitman and the University of Washington, held February 25, in Memorial Hall.

            Halbert Holmes, of the Whitman team, opened the case for the affirmative with the arguments that the great inflow of immigrants from these countries was dangerous to the best interests of our country because of their lower standards of living and because they were unassimable. Chester Lesh concluded the case for Whitman by showing that since these immigrants were undesirable and since they were not needed here, if they came their harm would out shadow their good.

            The leader of the University of Washington team was one of the three men who had defeated the Princeton team a few weeks before. Notwithstanding this, the Whitman team, by their direct appeal to statistics, their clean, straight forward reasoning, and the tenacity with which they held to their arguments in rebuttal, won a two to one decision in their favor. Judge C. E. Mills of Walla Walla presided. The debate was conceded by those who attended, to be one of the most interesting debates given from the Whitman platform.

            The Whitman negative team, composed of Robert Erode and Edwin Ford, also won a two to one decision from the University of Washington team in Seattle. They presented a practically infallible plan which centered around a system of restriction controlled by a board of commissioners.


Women's Varsity Dual Debate



Both Decisions Two to One 'for the Affirmative


The very current question discussed by the Co-eds in the Whitman-University of Washington debate was, "Resolved: That prior to the right of strike or lockout, labor and capital should be compelled to submit their disputes to arbitration, constitutionality waived."

            Ruth Reynolds and Mabel Wood, upholding the affirmative of the question, won a two to one decision in their favor in the home debate March 11, in Memorial Hall. They pointed out that where arbitration had been voluntarily invoked it had been highly successful, and presented the logical conclusion that if submission to arbitration were made compulsory, many more disputes would be satisfactorily settled. Their entire line of argument was based on the fact that the interest of the public was paramount. Both speakers were well poised and forceful in their rebuttals, refuting squarely the contention of the negative that their plan could not be enforced. Judge C. E. Mills of Walla Walla was chairman also of this debate.

            In the Seattle debate the same night, the case for Whitman was opened by Annie McAulay with the practical argument that the plan the affirmative had proposed could not be enforced. Martha Douglas concluded with facts showing that the plan was Un-American, and presented a thoroughly American plan of shop reorganization which would remove the causes of the unrest, and of a universal, easily accessible system of voluntary arbitration.

            The logical arguments, and the clean, straight forward presentation of them by the Whitman debaters, won for them high esteem in University debate circles, although the decision there also was two to one in favor of the affirmative.


Whitman-Willamette Debate


            The second men's varsity debate of the season, between Whitman and Willamette took place April 22, after the Waiilatpu had gone to press. The debate was held on the same question as the University of Washington men's debate. Fred Harper and Virgil Thomas upheld the affirmative side for Whitman at Salem, and Mowbray Tate and Prentice Warner the negative side at Whitman.