Pace debaters win hearts, minds, and cash money

Pace University Pace students Christina Thomas and Rowan Lanning won $3,000 for effectively arguing that a proposal to create 43 oil-barge anchorages on the Hudson needs an environmental review. The prospect of cleaner water will just be a bonus.

Pace University
Pace students Christina Thomas and Rowan Lanning won $3,000 for effectively arguing that a proposal to create 43 oil-barge anchorages on the Hudson needs an environmental review. The prospect of cleaner water will just be a bonus.

BY COLIN MIXSON

A pair of articulate environmentalists studying at Pace University’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences took home $3,000 after they scored first place in a debate competition held at New School University on March 30.

Pace students Christina Thomas and Rowan Lanning persuasively argued that a Coast Guard proposal to create 43 oil-barge anchorages on the Hudson River should be subject to an environmental review process, using rhetoric that Upstate Sen. Terrence Murphy said couldn’t have been better — and chimed with his own arguments.

“Your detailed research project put further emphasis on what I have been saying since the Coast Guard ambushed us with this senseless proposal last spring,” Murphy exclaimed during the judging.

The students’ victory marks Pace University’s first-ever win at the Debating for Democracy competition, and faculty couldn’t be more proud of the scholars’ accomplishments.

“We are extremely proud of Rowan and Christina for their stunning performance at the competition, and for representing Pace University with intelligence and distinction,” said John Cronin, senior fellow at the Dyson College Institute for Sustainability and the Environment.

The students plan on using their $3,000 winnings to fund further do-goodings, and lobby congress for the reform they argued for at the debate.

“We feel so honored that we were able to attend and to present our work,” said Lanning. “We still have to decide exactly where we are going to put it, but we want to implement the proposal that we laid out in our letter. We want to start a student outreach group and get the students more connected with the local government, local legislation and to be an active voice in this area.”

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