The Raft Debate

A William & Mary tradition!

The 2019 Raft Debate 

Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sadler Center's Chesapeake Rooms. The Raft Debate is free and open to the public. If you can't be there in person, watch the livestream!

Watch the LiveStream

Described as a "delicate balance of comedy and lecture", the annual Raft Debate features four W&M faculty members from diverse disciplines, stranded on a desolate island with only a one-person life raft for escape to civilization. Which faculty member should survive for the sake of humanity? Based on the volume of applause, the audience chooses the sole survivor as the professors cajole, plead, pontificate, and resort shamelessly to props and costumes.

2018 Raft Debate Poster. Select image to view larger.The quirky event originated in the mid-1900s and was revived in 2002 by the Graduate Center, the A&S Office of Graduate Studies and Research, and the A&S Graduate Student Association. Faculty participants represent the Humanities, the Social Sciences, or the Natural and Computational Sciences. The Devil's Advocate, who argues sarcastically that none of the academic disciplines are worth saving, has on occasion emerged victorious.

The 2019 debaters representing their disciplines and determining the fate of humanity will be announced this fall.