Debate Team scores high at ”Worlds” tournament

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Contact: Robert Boller, (808) 956-3324
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Posted: Nov. 13, 2012

Members of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Debate Team recently placed well at the U.S. Universities Invitational WUDC “Worlds” debate tournament at Claremont McKenna College, the largest debate union in the country.

UH Mānoa sent three teams to compete in the tournament. Facing off against 56 teams from 18 major universities such as USC, UCLA and Cornell, the team of Samira Fatemi (Engineering) and Jonathan Cham (Political Science) came in 11th place, just missing the semi-finals by a few speaker points. Mānoa team captain Kyle Dahlin (Mathematics) and his partner, Ryan Delaney (Communicology), finished in 17th place. The rookie team of Sterling Higa (Communicology) and Ian Ross (Economics), competing in their first intercollegiate tournament, finished at a respectable 36th place.

The team from UH Mānoa beat all seven of Claremont’s teams, Hawai‘i Pacific University, several UCLA teams, along with formidable teams from Texas, Alaska, and other schools with major programs.

Next on the team’s agenda is hosting the British National Debate Team during the week of Thanksgiving. A public debate will be held on Tuesday, November 20, from 3:00-6:00 p.m. in the Bale courtyard on the UH Mānoa campus. The UH Mānoa and the British National Team will debate on the topic: “It’s better to be British than American,” with the Americans arguing in favor of being British and vice-versa. Other activities include a tour of the UH Mānoa campus, debate at the State Capitol Rotunda with Hawai‘i Pacific University on Wednesday, November 21 at noon, a Thanksgiving holiday dinner with UH Mānoa faculty and showcase of Communicology course 251.

UH Mānoa has competed at Oxford, Yale, Willamette, Istanbul, Botswana, and in numerous other tournaments. They run the largest inter-collegiate debate tournament in Hawai‘i and will co-host the Pan Pacific Championship with HPU in February 2013, which will feature 20 plus universities such as Vermont, Air Force, and Claremont and Pacific Rim universities from Japan, Korea, and China.

“Financial support for the team is our biggest struggle,” said team Director Dr. Robert Boller of the Communicology Department. “We are currently seeking corporate sponsorship for the program from law firms and businesses in exchange for offering organizations interns or perhaps hosting workshops on speaking and persuasion.”

For more information, please contact Robert Boller at boller@hawaii.edu.

Photo caption: Pictured in photo, left to right: Kyle Dahlin, Jon Cham, Megan Wharton, Ryan Delaney, Samira Fatemi, Sterling Higa and Ian Ross.


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