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 Breaks at Yale!

Over the weekend of October 3-5, the Colgate Debate Society traveled to New Haven to compete in the 2014 Yale IV. Colgate brought four teams and two judges to the tournament.

Competing for Colgate were the teams of Daniel Messner ’17 and Michael Chivinda ’17, Luke Luttmann ’15 and Madeline Allen ’16, Melissa Haller ’16 and Kevin Costello ’16, and Franklin Van Nes ’18 and Erin Lai ’18. Judging for Colgate were Chi Nguyen ’18 and Sophie He ’18. 

The Colgate Team!

The teams had the opportunity to debate challenging and exciting topics, including “This house opposes the American charter school movement,” “This house would cooperate with any leader or regime to defeat non-state actors that systematically violate human rights,” “This house regrets the rise of dating and other websites that allow people to rate others based on past romantic interactions,” “This house believes that institutional art credentials are bad for art,” ” This house, as an emerging democracy, would suppress domestic media in favor of international media,” and “This house believes that universities and other stakeholders should primarily consider teaching ability rather than research output when awarding tenure and allocating academic funding.”

Colgate’s Semifinalists!

After six preliminary rounds, Colgate’s Luke Luttmann and Madeline Allen broke eleventh overall, debating in both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. They had the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the nation and the world, debating the topics, “This house would facilitate religious proselytization in areas of high socio-economic deprivation,” and “This house supports the use of forced population transfers that create separate, ethnically homogeneous states as a solution to prolonged ethnic conflict.” Congratulations to Colgate’s amazing semi-finalists, and to everyone from Colgate who attended the tournament!

Colgate Hosts a Public Debate!

On Monday, February 3, the Colgate debate team had the amazing opportunity to engage in a public debate with two incredible debaters from Monash University in Australia, Gemma Buckley and Madeline Schultz. The two came to Colgate for the weekend of February 1-2, and held workshops and practice sessions for the team during that time. On Monday, the public debate was held between the teams of Madeline Allen ’16 and Adam Buys ’17, Gemma Buckley and Daniel Messner ’17, Madeline Schultz and Melissa Haller ’16, and Luke Luttmann and Lorelai Avram ’16. The motion for the round was, “This house believes that eating meat is immoral.”

Colgate Takes on Tough Competition at Yale!

On the weekend of October 4-5, the Colgate debate team traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to participate in the Yale IV debate tournament. Colgate brought five teams and four judges.

The teams consisted of Julia O’Neil ’16 and Maddie Allen ’16, Lorelai Avram ’16 and Michael Chavinda ’17, Anna Proios ’16 and Curt Mahoney ’14, Matt Reed ’17 and Adam Buys ’17, and Kevin Costello ’16 and Antoinette Nwabunnia ’17. Emily Luba ’16, Vaso Papadopoulou ’16, Maria Chen ’17, and Xi Chun ’16 participated as judges.

Emily, Maddie, and Kevin Explore New Haven!

Colgate participated in five rounds of debate, in which topics such as encouraging history teachers to overemphasize contributions of marginalized groups, allowing torture for certain criminal offenses, encouraging Islamic oil exporting states to place embargoes on states who discriminate against Muslims, requiring low wage employees to unionize, and supporting the overthrow of democratically elected authoritarian heads of state were discussed.

Adam, Matt, and Maddie between rounds

Lorelai and Anna!

Yale is the largest, most competitive tournament that Colgate has competed in this year. Even though no awards were won, Colgate’s teams had the opportunity to work with some of the best judges and debaters across the nation, and everyone had a great experience participating in the rounds.