NCA Inside & Out


NCA Concludes 2019 CIDD Fall Debate Series

December 5, 2019

NCA’s Committee on International Discussion and Debate (CIDD) promotes international understanding and the practice of communication through discussion and debates between students from the United States and other nations. This fall, Niamh Thompson, from Glasgow, Scotland, and Dan Scanio, from London, England, visited 14 host U.S. campuses to debate with U.S. students. 

Niamh Thompson is a Junior Doctor currently working in Emergency Medicine in Glasgow, Scotland. Thompson teaches healthcare communication skills to other doctors and nurses. Being from a mixed family in Northern Ireland who were highly impacted by the civil conflict, Thompson has a personal interest in the role of debate and discourse in reducing conflict and building communities. Thompson began debating while pursuing a medical degree and was President of the Scottish Students Debating Council. Thompson was an Open Semifinalist at the European University Debating Championships, Grand Finalist at the Oxford IV, and a Grand Finalist, winner, or best speaker of over a dozen University British Parliamentary Debating Tournaments, including Durham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Trinity, University College Dublin, Copenhagen, Leeds and others. 

Dan Scanio, trained in law and working as an advocate for a London law firm, is an experienced debater, having competed in university, national and international competitions. Scanio was the national champion of the Insurance Law Moot 2016 and won the Monroe Cup Debating Competition 2019. Scanio has taught debating and public speaking skills to students aged 11 to 19 years old. In 2019, Scanio judged the first round through the final round of the London Debate Challenge. Scanio is comfortable coaching all abilities and tailors feedback based on what would be most appropriate and helpful to advance the student’s specific debating or public-speaking skills. 

Some Resolutions from the Debate Series

The following is a list of some of the debaters' stops and some of the resolutions debated during the debate series:

  • Capital University: This house believes that there should be no restrictions on comedy.
  • West Texas A&M University: This house believes that the International Olympic Committee should separate Olympic categories by weight, height, and muscle mass rather than sex.
  • University of North Texas: An international debate on the topic of junk food.
  • Mt. San Antonio College: Is it too late to reverse climate change?
  • Randolph-Macon College: Resolved: That the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be updated for the 21st Century.
  • University of Lynchburg: This house regrets the move to impeach President Trump.