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January 24, 1986

Five members of the Debate Society—Dan Blum ’89, Evan Brenner ’89, Scott Cooper ’87, Anne Louise Gibbins ’89 and Scott Kirkpatrick ’87—argued for 100 hours in a continuous Parliamentary Debate in the Villard Room, earning a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The resolution sponsored by the team of Brenner and Blum, “The government that governs best governs least,” was opposed by the team of Cooper and Gibbons, with Kirkpatrick acting as speaker of the house.

Interviewed midway through the marathon, Blum observed, “We have debated abortion, capital punishment, the monetary system…Laura Ashley, garbage disposal and childbirth… All these topics must eventually relate back to teh original question.” Gibbons added, “After we heard Kirk [Kirkpatrick] snore, we even raised the issue of respiratory difficulties.” The longest speech of the five days was given by Blum, who spoke at one point for over almost four hours. Said Blum, “I have the biggest mouth…and can speak for the longest time without really saying anything.”

In the debate’s final hour Vassar President Virginia Smith, the New York State chief of protocol and spokesperson for Governor Mario Cuomo Frederica Goodman and Thomas Aposporos, the mayor of Poughkeepsie, observed its conclusion.

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