Colgate Takes Europe Part 1: The Oxford IV 2015

Over the weekend of November 11-15, the Colgate Debate Society traveled overseas to compete at the Oxford IV in the UK. Colgate brought three teams and one judge to compete. Oxford is one of the most challenging tournaments that Colgate attends, and is an incredible opportunity for Colgate Debaters to debate against and judge some of the best teams in the world.

The teams of Melissa Haller ’16 and Adam Buys ’17, Kevin Costello ’16 and Alex Taylor ’18, and Rohan Chaudhari ’19 and Matt Kato ’19 competed for Colgate as debaters. Shemuel Malave ’18 attended the tournament as a judge.

Colgate in the Oxford Union

Colgate had the opportunity to debate some interesting and challenging motions, including, “THW Ban Religious Primary and Secondary Schools,” “THBT US immigration policy should only prioritise merit-based standards of acceptance over the reunification of families,” “THW end penalty enhancements for hate crimes,””THBT Western Liberal Democracies should boycott the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia,” and “THW allow opponents of abortion to sign legally-binding contracts with pregnant women, in which they pay those pregnant women not to have an abortion.”

Although no Colgate teams broke, Oxford was an excellent opportunity for Colgate students to practice their debate skills in a competitive, international setting. We also had the opportunity to explore Oxford and get to know debaters from all over the world, a truly unique opportunity. Overall, it was a fantastic and valuable weekend, and we hope that Colgate has just as great of an experience in Cambridge next weekend!


Colgate Debates in Vermont!

On the weekend of November 6-8, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to Burlington, Vermont to compete in the University of Vermont’s Huber Debates. Colgate brought one team and three judges.

The team of Daniel Messner ’17 and Madeline Allen ’16 debated for Colgate. Melissa Haller ’16, Siena Frost ’19, and Faith Ruppert ’18 attended the tournament as judges.

The Colgate Team

The team had the opportunity to debate exciting topics, including “THW end all programs aimed at preserving endangered languages,” “TH regrets the strong promotion of people declaring their sexual orientation (e.g. National Coming Out Day) as an advocacy strategy by LGBTQ movements,” “THBT, following the resolution of domestic armed conflicts, prominent members of groups who fought against the state should be prohibited from running for public office,” “TH regrets the inclusion of religious symbols in memorial sites,” and “TH supports the universal legalization of polyamorous unions.”

Colgate AM

After five competitive rounds of debate, Daniel and Madeline broke 12th at the tournament, debating in the quarter final round. They debated the topic, “TH, as a progressive judge, presiding over the Marine Le Pen trial, would adopt reasoning that was plausible, but which you believe to be unsound, in order to justify a conviction.” After a challenging debate, the team did not move forward; however, everyone involved had a great tournament and we’re incredibly proud of our performance during the course of the weekend. Keep up the good work, Colgate!

Colgate Successfully Competes at HWS!

Over the weekend of October 23-25, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to Geneva, NY to debate at Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ Fall Classic. Colgate brought three teams and one judge to the tournament.

The teams of Melissa Haller ’16 and Madeline Allen ’16, Adam Buys ’17 and Michael Chavinda ’17, and Marlynna Blumer ’19 and Gavin Gao ’19 debated for Colgate. Siena Frost ’19 attended the tournament as a judge.

The Colgate Debate Team!

The teams got to debate exciting and challenging motions, including, “THBT developed nations should abolish all protectionist trade policies,” “THBT sports leagues with systems of promotion and relegation is good for fans,” “THBT the transgender movement should leave the LGBTQ movement,” “TH, as a hearing parents of a deaf child, would mainstream them to the exclusion of deaf culture,” and “THW prioritize asylum seekers who have actively resisted their regimes.”

After five rounds of debate, Adam and Michael broke into semi finals, and Gavin and Marlynna broke into the novice final, where they debated the motions, “THB editors should refuse to work for media whose endorsement decisions are made by owners rather than by ed board,” and “THW prioritize curative care to palliative care for elderly individuals,” respectively. Additionally, Michael and Adam tied for ninth speaker at the tournament, and Gavin was the seventh novice speaker. We’re incredibly proud of how well we performed, and everyone at the tournament had a great experience! Next stop, Vermont!

Colgate Gets Ready For a Successful Tournament!

Colgate Competes at Yale!

Over the weekend of October 2-4, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to compete in the Yale IV Debate Tournament. Colgate brought four teams and three judges to the tournament.

The teams of Daniel Messner ’17 and Kevin Costello ’16, Julia O’Neil ’16 and Alex Taylor ’18, John Eddins ’18 and James Hurst ’18, and Matt Kato ’19 and Marlynna Blumer ’19 debated for Colgate. Maria Amorosso ’18, Hayley Arlin ’18, and Siena Frost ’19 attended the tournament as judges.

All teams had the opportunity to debate exciting and challenging motions, including, “THW ban religious K-12 schools,” “THBT voters should be able to override the votes of their elected representative on individual bills by two-thirds or greater referendum,” “THBT developed nations should pay reparations to developing nations that have experienced significant adverse consequences from climate change,” “TH rejects the media’s intentional humanization of those responsible for heinous acts or crimes,” “THBT the US should join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” and “Given the existence of a drug that dramatically increases mental capacity, THBT universities should ban and test for student use of the drug.”

Yale is one of the most challenging and competitive tournaments in the United States, and is a great opportunity for students to practice their debating skills and learn from some of the best debaters in the world. Although none of our teams broke, it was a fantastic experience for everyone involved. We’re looking forward to putting our newly honed skills to the test when we compete at HWS next weekend!

And…We’re Back! Colgate Competes at the Bard College Invitational Debate Tournament

Over the weekend of September 18-20, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to Annandale-on-Hudson, NY to compete at Bard College’s Invitational Debate Tournament. It was the first tournament of our fall season, and we brought four teams and two judges to compete. Three of the four teams were pro-am partnerships, meaning that experienced debaters volunteered to compete with new members of the team in order to teach them the British Parliamentary format and ensure that they had the best experience possible. We had a fantastic weekend, and look forward to doing it again soon!

The teams consisted of Daniel Messner ’17 and John Eddins ’18, Madeline Allen ’16 and Hayley Arlin ’18, Melissa Haller ’16 and Shemuel Malave ’18, and Rohan Chaudhari ’19 and Marlynna Blumer ’19. Laura Bunn ’18 and Cymon King ’18 represented Colgate as judges at the tournament.

Colgate Has a Great Start to the Debate Season!

The team had the opportunity to debate five exciting and challenging topics, including “This House regrets the rise of voluntourism,” “This House supports binding quotas for the redistribution of refugees for EU member states,” ” This House would allow local residents to vote on what art should be placed in publicly owned spaces,” “This House believes that victims of natural disasters should be allowed to sue the government for gross negligence in their disaster relief efforts,” and “This House regrets the rise of Hacktivist groups.”

The Team Hangs Out Between Rounds

At the end of preliminary rounds, Colgate teams finished on 10, 10, 8, and 7 points, an impressive result for the first tournament of the year. Many teams missed breaking by a matter of individual speaker points. We look forward to continuing to debate on the local circuit over the next semester, and are excited to see how well we perform in the coming weeks. The tournament was a valuable and educational experience for everyone involved.

Colgate Debates in Malaysia!

On the week of December 26 – January 4, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to compete in the 2015 World Universities Debating Championship. Colgate brought three teams and two judges to this amazing tournament.

The teams of Luke Luttmann ’15 and Daniel Messner ’17, Julia O’Neil’16 and Michael Chavinda’17, and Greer Harrison’18 and Alex Taylor’18 debated for Colgate. Melissa Haller ’16 and Adam Buys ’17 were sent to the tournament as judges.

The Colgate Team!

The teams had the opportunity to compete in nine competitive rounds of debate with over 400 teams representing universities from Asia, Australia, debating challenging topics including, THR the decline of tightly integrated families, THBT environmental movements should support climate engineering that fundamentally alters the environment in an attempt to combat global warming, THBT in areas of socio-economic deprivation, schools should train students in vocational skills to the exclusion of the liberal arts, THW prohibit the media from reporting on the mental illness of those accused of crimes, THBT the international community should cut off internet access in Syria, THBT developing countries should adopt economic development policies that heavily disincentivise urbanization, THW ban the research and production of moral enhancement drugs, THBT the US and EU should seek to promote peace by heavily subsidising Israeli businesses who invest in the Palestinian territories, and TH, as a medical professional employed by the US military or security sevices, would, and would encourage others, to refuse orders to provide medical treatment to individuals undergoing ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.

Colgate Exploring Malaysia!

Colgate’s judges did very well at the tournament. At the end of the nine rounds, Cogate’s Melissa Haller and Adam Buys both broke as judges, serving as wing judges in the partial-double-octo final round for the motion, “THW allow corporations to use hackers to retaliate against cyberattacks where the state seems unwilling or unable to do so.” Additionally, all Colgate students who attended had the incredible opportunity to explore Kuala Lumpur, including visiting local marketplaces, the National Museum, and a bird park during their stay. Overall, it was an amazing experience for all who attended, and the Colgate Debate Society is looking forward to an equally great spring semester!

Colgate Participates in the Cambridge IV and Women’s Open!

Over the weekend of November 20-23, the Colgate Debate society had the exciting opportunity to travel back to the United Kingdom to participate both in the 2014 Cambridge IV, as well as the first annual Norton Rose Fullbright Cambridge Women’s Open tournament. Representing Colgate for the weekend was the team of Madeline Allen ’16 and Melissa Haller ’16. 

For Cambridge IV, the team debated challenging topics including, “Thw not punish those who live below the poverty line for economic crimes (eg theft),” “TH as a superhero W agree to use their powers solely in service of the democratic state,” “THS the objectification of men in popular culture,” and “THBT Western foreign policy should abandon attempts to universalize liberal values.”

The Cambridge Women’s Open also featured interesting and exciting motions, such as “THW legalize the buying and selling of sexual services,” “THBT football fans should boycott the 2022 world cup in Qatar,” “THBT the US and Iran should ally to fight ISIS,” and “THW aggressively financially incentivise the enrollment of female students in areas with low female enrollment.”

Maddie and Melissa had the amazing opportunity to debate among some of the most talented speakers in the world, as well as to be a part of an emerging debate tournament tradition aimed at promoting women’s voices within the global arena of British Parliamentary debate. Overall, Colgate had an amazing weekend!

Melissa and Maddie in Cambridge!

Colgate Competes at the Oxford IV!

Over the weekend of November 14-16, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to Oxford University in the United Kingdom to participate in the 2014 Oxford IV tournament.

The teams of Luke Luttmann ’15 and Daniel Messner ’17, Adam Buys ’17 and Kevin Costello ’16, and Faith Ruppert ’18 and Rohan Nagpal ’18 represented Colgate at the tournament.

The Colgate Contingent!

The teams had the exciting opportunity to debate challenging topics, including “This house believes that in order for a law to be enacted, it should have to be passed by the legislature and then by a body chosen at random from eligible voters,” “This house believes that press agencies should not purchase or publish the work of freelance war reporters,” “This house believes the EU should suspend Hungary’s membership rights,” “This house,as the gay community, regrets the existence of Grindr,” and “This house would deny public funding to parties with explicitly ethnic-based membership or platforms.”

The Colgate teams debated with some of the best teams from around the world and had the opportunity to explore Oxford and the United Kingdom. It was an incredible experience for everyone involved!

Colgate Makes it to Finals at Vermont!

On the weekend of October 31-November 2, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to Burlington, VT to compete at the University of Vermont’s 2014 Huber Debate tournament. Colgate brought two teams and two judges to the tournament.

The team of Luke Luttmann ’15 and Daniel Messner ’17 as well as the team of Melissa Haller ’16 and Madeline Allen ’16 competed for Colgate as debaters. Alex Taylor ’18 and Romario Lobban ’18 attended the tournament as judges.

The Colgate Team!

The teams had the opportunity to debate exciting and challenging topics, including THW return all cultural treasures to their places of origin, THBT it is in China’s best interest to let Hong Kong freely elect its leaders, THW, as environmentalists, support the integration of green goals with consumer culture, THBT states should not use education institutions to instill patriotism, and THBT states should suspend democratic elections during economic crisis.

Colgate LM!

After five preliminary rounds of debate, Luke and Daniel broke forth. They competed in quarters, semis, and finals, debating the topics, “THW nationalize pharmaceuticals,” “THBT the global community should abandon its focus on nuclear non-proliferation,” and “TH regrets the emphasis on marriage equality in the gay rights movement.” Luke also received the sixth place speaker award. Overall, Colgate had an incredibly successful weekend!

Colgate Has a Great Weekend at the North American Universities Debating Championships!

On the weekend of October 24-26, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY to compete in the 2014 North American Universities Debating Championships. Colgate brought three teams and two judges.

Competing at the tournament were the teams of Luke Luttmann ’15 and Michael Chavinda ’17, Kevin Costello ’16 and Adam Buys ‘17, and Faith Ruppert ’18 and Greer Harrison ‘18. Madeline Allen ‘16 and Jing Chu ‘18 attended the tournament as judges.

The Colgate Team at the Tournament!

Colgate had the opportunity to compete in six challenging rounds, debating topics including, “THW abolish spousal privilege,” “THBT authors who belong to historically oppressed peoples should only write in their native languages,” “THBT the feminist movement should campaign to deconstruct masculinity rather than mobilize masculinity to serve feminist goals,” “THBT states should not hold prisoners of war after the cessation of a conflict,” “THR the rise of pop culture authorities (e.g. Cosmo) on what constitutes good sex,” and “THW consider an academic’s publicly stated political positions in hiring, tenure, and promotions decision.”

Colgate Team Pirate Booty CL and their Quarterfinal Trophy!

After preliminary rounds, Luke and Michael broke tenth into quarterfinals, debating the topic, “THBT all media organizations should be owned and run by journalists.” All debaters and judges had the opportunity to participate in high quality rounds with some of the best debaters from North America, making for a great tournament experience for everyone. Overall, Colgate had a successful weekend!