Elizabeth Untama / Gavel Media

Newton or Bust: How to Win the Freshman Housing Debate

The Newton–Upper debate is a timeless back-and-forth that may appear to have a clear winner, but requires hard, factual evidence to support one’s claims. If you happen to find yourself in such a dispute, here are some general rhetorical strategies to leave your misinformed opponent speechless.

  1. Know your opponent

A common mistake is to assume that your competitor knows the ins and outs of the arguments as well as you do. Take into account the other’s experiences before debunking their claims. Try to imagine yourself as a freshman on Upper attempting to understand Newton in all of its glory, but never having stepped foot on the campus’ lush green grass. Your opponent is set in the context of countless staircases, long impersonal dorm halls, and Mac as the main source of nourishment. You already know Newton Campus as Boston College’s hidden gem. Now, convince your unenlightened Upper counterparts of this fact.

  1. Always think comparatively.

Every branch of your argument will be juxtaposed against that of your opponent. There are several points of commonality between each first year campus, so be sure to expect a comparative rebuttal. Both Newton and Upper have accessible dining halls, but only one has Hillside-style pressed paninis and the most endearing BC Dining staff on campus. The two have several available study spots, but only one has floors upon floors of empty law classrooms for the taking. All freshman dorms have RAs, yet those in a particular location create bonds of inclusivity that spread from late night HOOTs to frequently overlooked basement parties. There are many shared benefits of both campuses, you just need to clarify why certain amenities are above the rest.

  1. Always act like you’re winning, even if you’re not.  

Always display confidence in the arguments that you are making, but avoid arrogance at all costs. If your competitor doesn’t think you believe in your own assertions, why should they be inclined to believe them? A common target of antagonism is typically derived from the inconveniences of the Newton bus. Yet those who bash the shuttle are just fearful of stepping through its sliding doors. They can’t differentiate the Comm. Ave from the Newton bus, and don’t even attempt to ask them the difference between All Stops and Direct.  It’s the native Newtonite experiences that Transloc will never do justice. Describe to them the iconic bus ride pregames, the “U.S.A” chants, and the ten-minute, tone deaf renditions of “Just a Friend.” Narrate a freshman year filled with grand gestures of seat offerings and acrobatic bus flips. And as for the predestined curfew, nothing good happens after 2 a.m. anyway.

  1. Refer to your evidence whenever possible.

Although your own arguments are the most important, far too many debaters discount the importance of evidence. Show your opponent the hand crafted Turkey and Brie on Cranberry pressed to perfection. Exhibit your impressive physical results from the virtually “private” spin classes at the Hut. Tickets to the Beanpot? It’s almost a guarantee, with all of the Gold Points you racked up checking into soccer games all season. Who needs Transloc when you know the shuttle route like the back of your hand? You can practically call the bus to attention.

  1. Remember that debate is a team activity.

Any credible argument is one that can be widely endorsed. An extensive range of individuals that can contribute to your claims is highly suggested. Surrounded by a solid 40% of ambitious freshmen, determined law students, forgiving RAs, and a compassionate dining staff, Newton’s team is stacked. Each and every Newtonite will defend the better campus to its end (even if it means buying the law students their fifth cup of coffee with our extra dining bucks). From Duchesne East to Keyes South, down to Hardey basement and back again, all Newton Eagles work together to defend our nest.

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