ADA in the News

UI Wins the Purdue vs. IU Debate: What IF You Could Disappear from the Internet?

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —  Indiana University is the winner of the Purdue vs. IU debate “What IF you could disappear from the Internet” that took place Wednesday (Nov. 7).

The winner was decided by voting from the inhouse audience as well as viewers who watched the event via a livestream.

Two members of Purdue’s speech and debate team, the C. Richard Petticrew Forum, and two members of Indiana University’s debate team debated over whether the U.S. federal government should make “the right to be forgotten” from internet searches a civil right. The students covered implications for privacy, criminal activity, careers, censorship and cyberbullying.

Purdue students argued the affirmative, while IU students will argued the negative. The Purdue University and Indiana University debate students are led by James Mollison and Brian DeLong, respectively.

The debate is a part of Purdue’s celebration of its 150th year and specifically of the anniversary’s Ideas Festival, the centerpiece of Purdue’s Giant Leaps Sesquicentennial Campaign. The Ideas Festival will feature a series of events that connect world-renowned speakers and Purdue expertise in a conversation on the most critical problems facing the world. Al, Algorithms and Automation: Balancing Humanity and Technology is one of the Ideas Festival themes.

UGA Debate Team Ranked No. 1 in Nation

The football team isn’t the only University of Georgia squad chasing a national championship.

Count the UGA Debate Union in that group. They’re now ranked No. 1 by the country’s three top debate organizations — the American Debate Association, the Cross-Examination Debate Association and the National Debate Tournament.

In practice last week in Phi Kappa Hall on UGA’s North Campus, they were preparing to go to Gonzaga University, their longest road trip of the year, where they would face top teams also in the hunt this year for a national championship.

In this kind of competition, UGA and other schools often send multiple two-person teams to compete in tournaments. Two of Georgia’s teams are in the top five in the country — Swapnil Agrawal and Advait Ramanan, and Nathan Rice and Johnnie Stupek, who placed third and fifth at Gonzaga, respectively.

Another UGA team, Alyssa Hoover and Tripp Haskins, is knocking on the door of the rankings list.

A University of Kentucky team ranks first in the country, even though Rice and Stupek defeated them in a head-to-head match in a tournament this year. A Harvard twosome and a University of California-Berkeley team are also in the top five.

“I’ve got a really talented group of students,” said head coach Hays Watson, a former UGA debater who returned to the university in 2012 as a professor in the Department of Communication Studies and as debate coach.

It takes more than intelligence to excel, Rice said. Like a team sport, you’ve got to put the work in.

“We spend hundreds and hundreds of hours preparing,” he said.

For many on the team, it’s almost a full-time job; the best debaters know their subject inside and out, and that takes a lot of research.

They’ve also got a burning desire to figuratively kick your butt, especially if you happen to be rival Emory University.

This year’s debate topic asks if federal executive power should be limited. Last year’s topic wondered if the United States government should provide national health insurance.

Debaters have to know both sides of a proposition, the pros and the cons, and be prepared to advocate either for or against it. By the end of the year a debater may have been through 80 to 100 rounds of debate, each lasting around an hour and 45 minutes.

Not all debaters go on to be lawyers, but many do. Agrawal will be going to classes next year at the Harvard School of Law, for example.

At last week’s practice, Watson gave the students a weather report, and told them pack light; no checked baggage. The budget for the entire trip was $7,000, which was not enough to cover checked baggage.

The union gets more support from UGA and donations than many schools, including money for travel. Four of the team’s top six debaters have debate scholarships, and one is a Foundation Fellow, UGA’s top scholarship.

He counts himself “very lucky” to be at a university that provides as much support as UGA does in the form of scholarships and travel funds, but UGA’s debate budget pales in comparison to some of the top private universities, Watson said.

UGA has had a debate team for decades, but the program withered for several years before it was revived by Edward Panetta, now the head of Watson’s department. Panetta was National Debate Coach of the Year in 2007, when one UGA team, Brent Culpepper and Kevin Rabinowitz, won the national Rex Copeland Award for the team that has the best pre-tournament record in the country.

The teams will stage a public debate on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. in UGA’s Russell Research Libraries building. It will be an intrasquad competition in which two UGA teams will go up against each other.

Two weeks later, the UGA team will be off to Minneapolis to participate in the National Debate Tournament.

Georgia Ranked #1 After Opening Tournaments

As of this week, UGA is ranked first in all three college debate organizational rankings – the American Debate Association, the Cross-Examination Debate Association, and the National Debate tournament – ahead of Harvard, Wake Forest, Emory, Michigan, Northwestern, among hundreds of other institutions.

UGA’s top six debaters [pictured] each earned awards at their most recent tournament at the University of Kentucky. Five members hail from the state of Georgia, four of whom are recipients of the Richard B. Russell Debate Scholarship; one is a Foundation Fellow.

The Director of Debate at the United States Naval Academy, Danielle O’Gorman, who is also the President of the American Debate Association, offered the following on the Georgia Debate Union’s successful start to the year: “I am so delighted by the success of the entire UGA squad–they have always focused on process over product, on long-term development over quick wins, and on teamwork over individual goals. Their debaters are hard-working, kind, and community-focused; it’s a pleasure to debate against them and to judge them. They truly epitomize the values of the American Debate Association and I wish them continued success through the rest of the season.”

Congratulations to these extraordinary students who distinguish UGA among the nation’s best. The successful beginning of the year puts them on track for their goal of winning a national championship. We wish them the best in their diligent preparations and tough competitions ahead. Strong faculty mentors and coaching in the department of communication studies has a established a continuity of excellence in our debate team and we continue to marvel at their accomplishments.

Varsity Debaters Go National

University of Mary Washington’s varsity debate team of Gabe Lewis ’19, left, and Parker Coon ’19 competed in the 72nd National Debate Tournament, held in March at Wichita State University in Kansas.

The national tournament featured 78 qualifying teams. It was the third time Coon had qualified and the second time for Lewis. While they didn’t reach the elimination rounds, they competed strongly, said Debate Coach Adrienne Brovero.

To qualify for the National Debate Tournament, Coon and Lewis turned in an impressive performance at the District VII National Debate Tournament, hosted on the Fredericksburg campus.

Coon and Lewis also reached the Sweet 16 of the American Debate Association national championship.


UK Debate Team Finishes Regular Season Strong With Double Victory

he University of Kentucky Debate Team housed in the College of Communication and Information swept two tournaments with impressive victories, placing first and second in two of the nation’s most reputable tournaments.

The successful team was split between three tournaments recently competing in simultaneous tournaments at the U.S. Naval Academy, Dartmouth Round Robin and Indiana University.

During a three-day competition in the Naval Academy Tournament, the duo of Amar Adam and Theodore Noparstack once again took first. The tournament featured nearly 100 teams from 16 states. The two champions defeated a nationally top-ranked team from Trinity University in a 2-1 decision in the final round. Earlier in the tournament, Kentucky won victories over a number of powerhouse competitors including Georgetown University, Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan.

The team’s second impressive performance came during the Dartmouth Round Robin tournament with a strong second place finish by competitors Dan Bannister and Anthony Trufanov. <<click the title above for the rest of the story>>

Mercer Debate Team Competes in ADA Fall Championship

Mercer University’s debate team competed in the American Debate Association (ADA) Fall Championship this past weekend at Wake Forest University.

The team of Cassie Malcolm, a junior English major, and Garrett Williams, a junior politics, philosophy and economics (PPE) major, reached the quarterfinals of the tournament, held Nov. 11-13 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Additionally, Malcolm was ranked as the 10th-place individual speaker.

“Even though this was their first tournament of the entire year, these two remarkable students made it to the quarterfinals at the ADA Fall Championship,” said Dr. Vasile Stanescu, director of debate at Mercer. “I continue to be impressed by the success of the Mercer education on the national stage.”

UM Policy Debate Makes a Strong Start at Mary Washington

This weekend UM policy debaters took a stand on healthcare at Mary Washington University outside DC. This event was the first Junior Varsity tournament for the squad, after having to miss an event at Georgia State University because of Hurricane Irma. Julia Lynch and Jiaying Li won three and lost three debates, nearly breaking into semifinals. Rene Betancourt and Daniel Gallego finished 2-4.

The debate motion for the tournament, which will be debated all year, is “The United States Federal Government should establish national health insurance in the United States.” This topic taps into a broader, ongoing debate about healthcare in America as politicians on the left try to offer a more comprehensive alternative to Obamacare. The debaters used academic sources to describe a variety of models for national health insurance, including those brought forward by single-payer healthcare advocates like Bernie Sanders, and explained why or why not a transition to such a program would be beneficial.

After the warm-up at Mary Washington University, the debaters are ready to bring home some trophies from Las Vegas Classic Debate Tournament Oct. 20-22. Watch out for Miami Hurricanes in Nevada!

Emory debate team wins national championship

Viveth Karthikeyan and Kristen Lowe, both seniors at Emory, bested Harvard University’s team to win the American Debate Association National Championship at George Mason University on March 13.

The duo was undefeated throughout the tournament as they challenged teams from Harvard University, Michigan State University, Wake Forest University, the University of Georgia and Missouri State University.

“This was not my first tournament win, but it was my first national championship win. It felt fantastic,” says Karthikeyan, a neuroscience major. “I’ve been debating since ninth grade and it’s really nice to see all the hard work and dedication I’ve put into debate pay off.”

Two members of the UT Dallas debate team received honors at the American Debate Association national tournament and finished in the top eight at the competition. During the tournament, held March 10-14 at Boston College, seniors Anthony Ogbuli and Jacob Loehr accumulated a record of 4-2 in the preliminary debates, beating teams from George Mason University, the University of Georgia, Emory University and Georgetown University.

Debate teams win Vanderbilt college debate tournament (UGA)

The Georgia Debate Union, which organizes and fields competitive policy debate teams at the University of Georgia, emerged victorious at the 2015 Vanderbilt intercollegiate debate tournament held in Nashville, Tennessee. The tournament featured over 50 teams from nearly 20 colleges and universities. Two teams representing the Georgia Debate Union “closed out” in finals, meaning they won each respective side of their elimination round brackets and tied for first place at the tournament. Teams from the same school typically do not debate each other.