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Press Release  
Release Date: Thursday, October 31, 2013 10:48 AM
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Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Howard, Hampton Square Off in Debate of Intellect

WASHINGTON (October 21, 2013) – The Howard-Hampton rivalry continued in a student battle of intellect on Oct.18, as debate teams from the two Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) tackled the controversial topics of social media privacy and repealing stand-your-ground laws.

The verbal showdown in Cramton Auditorium on Howard’s campus featured intense rhetoric, quick-fire reasoning and even a few personal barbs as both teams sought to win the crowd.

The Howard-Hampton “special exhibition” debate began with moderator, Howard professor Gregory Carr, Ph.D., flipping a coin. Hampton’s win of the toss allowed the school’s team to argue in favor of repealing the unpopular stand-your-ground laws. The laws were brought to national attention after the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.

Hampton debaters described the law as a failed policy.

 “[The law] opens the door of misconceptions and prejudice amongst Americans,” Hampton debater Ivana Thomas said.

Howard debaters, in their uphill battle to defend the laws, said the goal should be to amend the law, not to repeal it outright, because of self- defense concerns. Abraham Williamson, Howard debater and president of the team, said: “At times, people are threatened for their lives.”

The teams also debated whether prospective employers should have access to students’ social media accounts. Howard debater Jarrell Blakemore said the policies unnecessarily infringe on students’ personal lives and privacy.

The debate left the major question of the day unanswered: which of the two HUs was the “Real HU.” In the exhibition-style debate, neither side is selected as the winner.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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