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Latke-Hamantash Debate: Celebrating 65 Years of UChicago Tradition

On Tuesday the UChicago Hillel hosted the 65th annual Latke-Hamantash debate. Students and staff lined up long before the doors to Mandel Hall opened in anticipation for one of the University’s most famous events.
 
The first Latke-Hamantash debate took place in 1946 and attracted a small gathering to the University’s Hillel building. Since then, the debate has grown to become one of UChicago’s most treasured traditions with imitations at other universities.
 
This year, live online streaming and Twitter were incorporated to make the debate more accessible and interactive. Audience members were encouraged to Tweet their opinions throughout the whole debate. Their feeds were shared in real time on the live streaming site to provide frequent updates as the debate went on.
 
After a humorous speech by UChicago Hillel advisor Dan Libenson, coveted philosophy professor Ted Cohen was introduced as debate moderator. His introductory speech captured the true spirit of academia, stating that  the Latke-Hamantash debate may seem unimportant, “Garbage is garbage, but the history of garbage is scholarship.”
 
Professors Tobias Moskowitz (Booth School of Business), Malynne Sternstein (Slavic Language and Literature), and Richard Rosengarten (Divinity School) were this year’s selected debaters. Using knowledge related to their field of study, the professors were challenged to finally resolve the Latke-Hamantash question.
 
Moskowitz developed the “Klop” Spread, a take on the Crack Spread definition found in finance, to demonstrate that the Matzah Ball was more popular than both foods in question. Sternstein completely eliminated Latkes from the debate and replaced it, in true Slavic fashion, with vodka. Rosengarten was the most theoretical of the three, used arguments by the fictitious scholar Bibfeldt to argue.
 
Based on popular vote after the debate, it was decided that the 65th Latkes-Hamantash Debate went to the Latkes. However, the debate will continue to be an annual tradition as it captures the University’s academic spirit.

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Annie Pei

U Chicago

Annie is a Political Science major at the University of Chicago who not only writes for Her Campus, but is also one of Her Campus UChicago's Campus Correspondents. She also acts as Editor-In-Chief of Diskord, an online op-ed publication based on campus, and as an Arts and Culture Co-Editor for the university's new Undergraduate Political Review. When she's not busy researching, writing, and editing articles, Annie can be found pounding out jazz choreography in a dance room, furiously cheering on the Vancouver Canucks, or around town on the lookout for new places, people, and things. This year, Annie is back in DC interning with Voice of America once again!
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