THE DEBATE UNION

Middle school debate outreach – Thank you!

Thank you to CCDU members volunteering to support the Middle School Public Debate Program outreach tournament, held at the Center for Early Education in West Hollywood, on Saturday, January 25. The MSPDP’s Golden West Debate League, established and supported by the Debate Union, is the sole authorized league exclusively for 5th and 6th grade students. More than 200 middle school students, teachers, parents, and observers attended the event.

Maya Kurkhill directed the tournament and managed tournament tabulation. She was assisted by Michelle Ramirez and Kayla Solomon. Both learned tournament operations and the proprietary MSPDP event software. Trevor Christensen volunteered as a tournament judge.

Volunteers are needed for the next outreach event, a high school competition to be held at Compton High School, Saturday, February 15.

Register for Tournaments!

Available for immediate registration.

February 8, Loyola Marymount (Los Angeles) – Lafayette topic/Venn format

February 8-9 Point Loma University (San Diego) – British Parliamentary Debating

February 15-16, Las Vegas Debates (Las Vegas) – Lafayette topic and format

February 15-16 University of Southern California (Los Angeles) – British Parliamentary Debating

February 15-16, Cornell Debates (National Novice, National Spanish, and Invitational) (Ithaca, NY) – British Parliamentary Debating

February 22, Palomar College (San Marcos/San Diego) – British Parliamentary Debating

February 22-23, Hawai’i Pacific University (Honolulu) – British Parliamentary Debating (limited entry)

February 22-23, George Washington University (Washington, DC) – British Parliamentary Debating (limited entry)

Volunteers Needed – Middle School Outreach, Saturday, January 25

The Debate Union will help manage one of its Middle School Public Debate Program league tournaments on Saturday, January 25. The tournament will be held at the Center for Early Education in West Hollywood. The Debate Union will provide staff for tournament tabulation and judging (judges must be PDP-certified). In addition, Debate Union members will assist in training staff and students from Cape Cod College attending the event in order to support the development of an MSPDP league in Massachusetts in Fall 2020.

Please contact Maya Kurkhill by Thursday, January 23, 6:00 PM to register for the tournament. The Debate Union will arrange transportation and meals for participants.

Lafayette Debates Topic/Tournaments

This year’s Lafayette Debates will use the following topic:

Corporations should prioritize stakeholder value over shareholder value.

Four tournaments will use the Lafayette Debates topic and format. These include the Western Championship at Loyola Marymount University (Saturday, February 8), the Lafayette Debates at Las Vegas (Saturday-Sunday, February 15-16), the Lafayette Invitational at Claremont McKenna College (Saturday, February 29), and the Lafayette Debates Championship at George Washington University and the French Embassy to the United States (Saturday-Sunday, April 3-4).

International Humanitarian Law Topics/Tournament

This year’s Internal Humanitarian Law topics are the following:

• It is unethical to deploy autonomous weapons systems.
• Abolish the International Criminal Court.

There is one tournament on this topic, hosted by the Claremont Colleges Debate Union. It is scheduled for Sunday, March 1.

Social Justice Debate Topic/Tournaments

This year’s topic is The United States Federal Government should provide direct compensation to African-Americans who descended from slaves as reparations for slavery.

Tournaments using the format include George Washington University (November 2019) and Morehouse College (January 2020).

Congratulations to Helena Ong and Naomi Tilles for their outstanding performance at the US Air Force Academy’s British Parliamentary Debate Tournament, held September 21-22, 2019.

Helena and Naomi won the novice championship (an event for students in their first 12 months of intercollegiate debate competition, regardless of prior experience). Helena was also the top individual speaker in that division.

The CCDU will host a college PDP championship, Saturday-Sunday, January 25-26, 2020. This is the second year of college-level PDP competition. École de Guerre, the French war college, was the 2019 tournament champion. The top-ranked US team (representing the second-place Claremont Colleges team) also won tickets to a Lupe Fiasco concert in Los Angeles. HSPDP high school teams may also participate in the event; there are separate awards for high school contestants.

The primary differences from other debate formats include team number and members (two 3-person teams), use of POIs and argumentative heckling, integration of pre-announced, research-based topics and impromptu topics, judge certification, and a comprehensive 100-point standards-based assessment rubric for individual speaker scores and awards.

Members of the Debate Union are eligible to participate in the PDP championship.

Congratulations to Charlie Sprague and Jesse Katz Blumenthal, the winners of the 2010 US Universities National Debating Championship. The tournament was sponsored by Regis University and the University of Denver, April 8-11. Charlie and Jesse were undefeated in their 10 debates. They placed ahead of Stanford, Yale, and Portland State in the final. The tournament included 124 teams representing undergraduate and graduate institutions from throughout the US.

Congratulations to other award winners at the tournament. Ellen Lebow and Adriane Holter were tournament octafinalists; Nick Rosa and Priya Srivats finished in fifth place among novice contestants (students in their first year of British Parliamentary intercollegiate competition). In addition to team honors, Jess Katz Blumenthal was the 9th ranked individual speaker and Charlie Sprague was 11th speaker. This was the third time that Charlie has placed in the top ten at the national championship tournament. He was 2nd in 2008 (partner – Kari Wohlschlegel POM ’08) and 9th in 2009 (partner – Raymond Lu POM ’11). It is the second time that Jesse has placed in the top ten. He finished 10th in 2008 (partner – Joseph Clifton CMC ’11).

Other attending teams did extraordinarily well at the championship. No Claremont team was eliminated from competition prior to the result of the final preliminary debate. This is the fourth national championship for the CCDU but the first in the BP debate format, now the most popular college and university debating model in the US and in the world.