Congratulations, Seattle Debaters!

Congratulations to all 3 teams attending the Seattle University Debate Tournament, hosted online, December 4-5. At one of the largest tournaments in the US in 2021, Michele Tang and Justin Shen placed second at the event, their second consecutive final round and second place finish. After Justin was unable to continue due to illness, Michele debated on her own through the elimination rounds to earn the team’s award.

The other two teams also qualified for the open division elimination rounds, impressive performances for novice teams (and clearly the top novice teams at the competition). Alaina Neuburger and Alana Yang finished as quarter-finalists, an outstanding achievement at their second intercollegiate tournament. Audrey Strevey and Grayson Shaw qualified for elimination debates and won their quarter-final and semi-final debates, ultimately finishing as participating finalists for their performance in the last debate. Audrey has placed in the open final for 2 consecutive tournaments; Grayson earned his second individual speaker award at his second BP tournament.

Sixty undergraduate and graduate school teams from the US, UK, Africa, and India competed at this year’s event.

Meetings/Practices for Week of December 6

Here are the additions, updates for the upcoming week.

No practices. Take the extra time to complete academic work.

All  trainings are online.

Meeting ID: 873 673 7540
Passcode: CCDU2021

Week of December 6
9 Instruction – Intro to British Parliamentary (BP) Debating, 4:30-5:00 PM
9 Instruction – Writing a Case – BP, 5:00-5:30 PM
9 Instruction – Counterplanning, 5:30-6:00 PM
9 Instruction – Topic Categorization and Critiquing, 6:00-6:30 PM
9 Instruction – Generic Arguments and Research Briefing, 6:30-7:00 PM
9 Instruction – Intro?orientation to the Debate Union (for new debaters beginning in Spring 2022), 7:00-7:30 PM


Congratulations, Linfield Debaters!

Congratulations to Justin Shen and Michele Tang and Lina Kallel and Audrey Strevey for their outstanding performances at the Linfield College Debate Tournament, hosted online, November 13-14. Justin and Michele placed second at the tournament. Lina and Audrey were the top novice team at the competition and qualified for the open division elimination rounds. They qualified for the final round and ended as finalists at the event, placing in the top four teams at the tournament.


Congratulations, Loyola-Chicago Debaters!

Like the Point Loma tournament, the Claremont team attending the 2021 Loyola-Chicago Debate Tournament was new to British Parliamentary debate competition. And, like colleagues at Point Loma, they learned a great deal in serious competition with students from 5 states. They were close to qualifying for awards but, unfortunately, missed participating in the tournament Grand Final Debate. The one-day, online tournament was held on Saturday, October 23.

Two students attended the event – Alaina Neuburger and Alana Yang. Congratulations to both for opening this year’s midwest competitions.

Congratulations, Point Loma Debaters!

Although debaters were close to qualifying for awards at the first in-person competition for 2021-22, a highly competitive BP tournament sponsored by Point Loma University, October 23-24, no team did, in fact, win a team award at the event. Many of those participating, however, were at their first British Parliamentary format competition and first debate tournament – it was outstanding practice for all. The Claremont teams and judges were all ‘novice’ debaters and judges, meaning they were all in their first year of British Parliamentary intercollegiate debating.

Eleven students attended the event. Debaters included Sumi Vora, Devanshi Guglani, Max McKnight, Kenny Le, Sterling Drummond, Grayson Shaw, Xinyue Zhang and Jen Lim; judges included Mario Fuentes, Dana Villasenor, and Margo Cohen.

Congratulations, Lewis and Clark Debaters!

Congratulations to Stelring Drummond and Grayson Shaw for their outstanding performance at the Debate e Union’s first 2021-22 competition, hosted online by Lewis and Clark College, October 9-10. They won the tournament, defeating teams from Vanderbilt and Willamette in the British Parliamentary (BP) final.

Maya Kurkhill and Jessy Nesbit tied for the most first place finishes in their debates but, unfortunately, narrowly missed qualifying for the semi-finals on speaker points. Two teams – Sumi Vora and Fio Wibawa and Kenny Le and Max McKnight – had fine performances in their first BP competition.

The Debate union is now preparing for upcoming BP events hosted by Loyola University – Chicago, Point Loma University, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges as well as the first in-person Social Justice Debates tournament for the year, sponsored by the University of Vermont.

Debate Union Social Reception, Week of September 20

Come meet new and returning members of the Debate Union!

Event planning is underway – there will be a dessert reception and opportunity to meet other members, find prospective debate partners, learn about professional communication opportunities and outreach events from John Meany and CCDU interns.

The event will be held this week – Friday, September 24. 4:00-6:30 PM, mid-quad lawn by Crown Hall, CMC.

Debate Practice Times, Fall 2021

Although there are BP practices the week of September 20, the official start of formal practice at set times for the semester (times that should accommodate everyone’s schedule), begins the week of September 27. Those practices are at the following times:

Mondays, 3:00 PM and 4:45 PM
Tuesdays, 8:15 PM
Wednesdays, 4:45 PM and 6:30 PM

Practices for SJD events will be announced later this week. The official times next week may be the same as the scheduled times this week or 15 minutes later typo accommodate some later class periods.

You should have received a confirmation from Maya for your practice time. If you have not or have yet to schedule a practice time, please contact Maya at

New BP Tournament Listings

These are additions to the calendar. Most are available to all students. All except Point Loma University are online. Select events will only permit, at most, 1-2 teams from each institution. Tournaments available to all are marked. You may begin registering for tournaments at any time. Prior to registration, yo0u must complete requested membership information in the CCDU 2021-22 roster. Please send an email to any intern to add your name to request registration for a tournament. You will receive a reply about your ability to attend your requested events. The intern addresses are Maya Kurkhill,, Michelle Ramirez,, and Helena Ong,

New BP Tournaments, v. September 12, 2021
Tournaments available to all are noted in bold.

9-10 Lewis and Clark College
16-17 University of Toronto
23 Loyola-Chicago
23-24 Point Loma University, San Diego (in person, not open to all but will be available to a large number of teams)
5-7 Hobart and William Smith Colleges (may change the date from this weekend)
13-14 Linfield College
13-14 University of Cambridge
4-5 Seattle University
29-30 Vanderbilt (prefer in-person, if possible; not open to all but will be available to a large number of teams, even as an in-person event)

Social Justice Debates Topic 2021-22

This year’s topic for Social Justice Debates is

The adoption of a mandatory racial desegregation policy for K-12 public schools is desirable.

The first tournament will be held online, Saturday-Sunday, October 2-3. There is a tentatively planned in-person tournament scheduled at the University of Vermont, Saturday-Sunday, November 6-7.

Although 2021-22 topic statement, format, and other support information is not yet available, here is the link to the 2021-21 information. The format and rules ought to be identical – the topic is different but the social justice foundation of each topic is likely to be quite similar, adapted only for the working of the topic. The link:

Topic and debate preparation will begin the week of September 13. The schedule for meetings, research, practices will be listed here during the September 10-12 weekend.

New to the Debate Union? What to Do Next!

For those new to the Debate Union and after attending an orientation/information session, here are some recommendations about how to get involved. Programming, including training, is rolling and there will be additional opportunities for training. Most upcoming events are not yet scheduled by other institutions and will be announced the first week of September.

Please complete roster information for the fall term. Here is the link:

Interested in Intercollegiate Debating?

Attend the format introductions for British Parliamentary (BP) debating and/or Social Justice Debate formats.

Attend a weekly practice. CCDU interns will contact members to schedule your semester practice time. In general, you will select a Tuesday or Wednesday evening time for practice. A practice is 2 hours for a debate and feedback.

Attend CCDU argumentation/instruction and research sessions, Scheduled periodically and repeated several times during a 2-week period. Sessions focus on speaker responsibilities, argumentation, case writing, public speaking for debate, counterplanning, critiquing, topic interpretation and categorization, and more…

Register to participate at debate tournaments. One may do so as an individual, with a team partner, or as a judge (training will provided and BP judges do not have to be highly experienced – can be new to the format).

Interested in Professional Communication Events?

Register to participate as a moderator or debate participant for one or more upcoming events There will be a training for moderators, as well as preparation sessions and practice for those participating in events beginning in mid-September.

Interested in Educational Outreach?

Attend a PDP judge certification session and tabulation administrator/tournament director session. Certified judges are eligible to judge at Public Debate Program competitions.


Thank you to members of the Debate Union and CCDU alumni for their outstanding instruction and administrative work during this summer’s Claremont Debate and Leadership Communication Institutes (CDLI). This year, there are 12 institute sessions and 4 tournaments, scheduled from June-September, for secondary school teachers and students. Programming included multiple teacher workshops, debate sessions for middle school and high school students, an academic scholars program for middle school students, and leadership communication training and an academic conference for high school students.

The final events for the summer include PDP online tournaments for middle school and high school summer students on the weekend of August 14-15 and Public Debate Program (PDP) California teacher and student workshop on September 11. In addition, high school students from the leadership program are invited to participate in a capstone project – a leadership initiative – at their school or in their community during the academic year. High school students may also attend a secondary school division of a Spring 2022 Conference on Electoral Reform.

CCDU members and alumni from CMC, Scripps, and Pitzer participated in Summer 2021 and included active CCDU members Maya Kurkhill (CMC ’23), Kayla Solomon (SCR ’24), Amari Huang (CMC ’23), Melanie Kallah (CMC’25), Ben Wasson (CMC’25), Sterling Drummond (PTZ’25), as well as former members Lauren Phillips (CMC ’13) and Pastor Arroyo (CMC ’20).