Colgate Wins the Novice Final at USU Debate Championship 2014!

On the weekend of April 11-13, the Colgate Debate Society brought three teams and four judges to compete in the US Universities Debate Championships at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. This national debate tournament is one of the most competitive in the United States, and the Colgate team had an amazing experience participating among some of the best debaters and judges in the world.

Representing Colgate were the teams of Daniel Messner ’17 and Adam Buys ’17, Melissa Haller ’16 and Luke Luttmann ’15, and Kevin Costello ’16 and Lorelai Avram ’16. Madeline Allen ’16, Anna Proios ’16, Emily Luba ’16, and Bryan Dewan ’17 attended the tournament as judges.


The Colgate Team!

There were six exciting preliminary rounds. Colgate had the opportunity to debate interesting topics such as supporting doctors who turn away patients who refuse to get vaccinated for religious or philosophical reasons, believing that feminism should actively exclude socially conservative viewpoints, prohibiting the establishment and operation of Israeli companies within Palestinian borders, allowing Supreme Court justices to be removed by popular referendum, not consuming art produced by artists who are deeply immoral, and making poverty a significant mitigating factor in criminal sentences.


Colgate Judges Anna and Emily!


Melissa, Daniel, and Madeline explore Purdue!

At the end of preliminary rounds, the team of Daniel Messner and Adam Buys were the first place breaking novice team in the novice final. They debated the motion, “This House would expand the jurisdiction of tribal courts to include non-tribal members who commit crimes on the reservation.” In the end, Colgate won the round! Additionally, Adam won the third place novice speaker award, and Daniel won the second place novice speaker award. It was also a great weekend for Colgate judges! Anna Proios chaired a round and broke as a judge into octofinals. Overall, it was a successful weekend for Colgate, and a great way to end the season!


Daniel and Adam!

The Colgate Open 2014: Final Round

On the weekend of March 29-30, the Colgate Debate Society hosted the fifth annual Colgate Open. After five preliminary rounds, followed by competitive quarter and semi final rounds, four teams competed in the final. The teams of Hybrid CC (opening government), Vermont Hybrid SH (opening opposition), Cambridge Broadly Understood (closing government), and McGill KT (closing opposition) debated the motion, “This House Believes that secular governments should actively censor those sections of religious text that either constitute hate speech or propagate negative attitudes to other religious/ethnic groups.” Above is the video of the round. Hybrid CC,  AJ Cormier and Simon Cameron from Carelton University won the round on a unanimous decision. The round was judged by the panel of Anser Aftab, Sarah Balakrishnan, Buzz Klinger, Melissa Haller ’16, and Luke Luttmann ’15. 

Colgate Hosts the Fifth Annual Colgate Open!

On the weekend of March 29-30, the Colgate Debate Society hosted its own debate tournament on Colgate’s campus. 72 teams and 50 judges attended the tournament from universities all over the world. Students attended from Canada, England, Germany, and India, as well as from across the United States. The Chief Adjudicator for the tournament was Anser Aftab, the Deputy Chief Adjudicator was Sarah Balakrishnan, and tab was run by Steve Llano. The amazing adjudication team, along with members of the Colgate Debate Society working behind the scenes, made the weekend an incredible success.

Links to our Speaker and Team Tabs:

Speaker Tab 
Team Tab


The Colgate Debate Society and the Adjudication Team!


Another year of successful planning!

The tournament consisted of five competitive preliminary rounds. Teams debated exciting topics such as banning private sponsorship of police, regretting the rise of the anti-hero in media, believing that US foreign policy should prioritize protection of minority rights over support of democracy, campaigning for increased sexualization of men in the media rather than campaigning against sexualization of women, and prohibiting media from reporting on the private life of any person without explicit permission. This year, after the completion of the preliminary rounds, the award for top speaker at the tournament went to Paul Gross from Cornell GR.


Anna and Emily Running the Breakfast Table!

The tournament then broke to quarterfinals and a novice final. Sixteen amazing teams competed in the quarterfinal, debating the motion “This House Believes that Putin’s actions towards Ukraine have been in the best interest of Russia.” After much deliberation, eight teams moved forward into semi-final to debate the motion “This house prefers a society where the rich feel negative exuberance to one where the poor do.” This year, Colgate hosted its first ever novice final, with four novice teams debating the motion, “This house would ban all forms of advertising that go beyond a description of what a product is and what it hopes to accomplish.” The winners of the novice final were McGill LL, the team of Valentin Litvin and Isabel Lee . The remaining four open teams, Hybrid CC, Vermont Hybrid SH, Cambridge Broadly Understood, and McGill KT then proceeded to the final round, debating the motion, “This House Believes that secular governments should actively censor those sections of religious text that either constitute hate speech or propagate negative attitudes to other religious/ethnic groups.” The winner of the Colgate Open 2014 was Hybrid CC from Carelton University, AJ Cormier and Simon Cameron.


Colgate Judges Melissa and Luke in the Final!

On the whole, the Colgate team did an amazing job running the tournament and participating in it. Judges Daniel Messner ’17, Emily Luba ’16, Melissa Haller ’16, and Luke Luttmann ’15 broke into out rounds. Melissa also chaired the novice final round, and both Melissa and Luke had the opportunity to judge in the final. Other Colgate students worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the tournament ran smoothly. Debate president Julia O’Neil ’16 led the effort, coordinating the tournament from the start. She worked closely with Adam Buys ’17 who assisted her throughout the process, Madeline Allen ’16, who ran registration for the tournament, and Anna Proios ’16 who was responsible for catering and event planning. Countless other Colgate students volunteered their time and effort to make the tournament happen. Overall, it was an incredible success, and the Colgate Debate Society looks forward to the opportunity to host another successful tournament next year.


Our Hard Working Registration Team!