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Zicklin Students Are Co-Founders of Baruch’s Debate Team

October 18, 2021

Zicklin undergrad Brian Sterling (BBA, ’21) and recent graduate Ace Kang (BBA, ’21) are Statistics & Quantitative Modeling majors and co-founders of the Debate Team of Baruch. That might surprise those who think of debate as more related to law or philosophy, but Brian and Ace say debating skills are invaluable in the business world.  

Man in dark brown jacket and tie; man in gray jacket and white shirt

Zicklin students Brian Sterling (left) and Ace Kang (right) co-founded the Debate Team of Baruch

Shortly after he arrived at Zicklin, Ace — a passionate debater since high school — was surprised to learn there was no debate team on campus. “There was a speech club and Model UN [United Nations],” Ace says, “but those activities are more about delivering a speech and getting feedback. They don’t have the back-and-forth on the heart of an issue, which is what debate is all about.”   

Ace recruited Brian, a classmate and friend who shared his love for debating, and the two got to work establishing a team. That was an arduous process that took “about a year,” Ace admits, but certainly paid off: The team now has 25 to 30 members and has competed in tournaments against the likes of Harvard and Yale.  

Learning to debate challenges you to think on your feet and look at issues from different perspectives, Brian and Ace note. “It forces you into another person’s shoes,” Brian offers. “For example, you might not support vaccine mandates, but then you get assigned the pro-mandate side in a debate on that topic. Learning to take a flexible point of view is extremely useful in business negotiations.”  

“Debating is underrated in terms of how much it helps in business,” Ace adds. “In fact, I actually think it should be mandatory for business majors!” Any Baruch students who are interested in learning more can email the Debate Team at or visit the website. No prior experience is necessary.