Debate team remains tops in the state

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Feb 24, 2011

Competing team members
Competing team members
Members of the UH Mānoa Debate and Forensics Society have successfully defended their Hawai‘i championship status with impressive victories at the inter-varsity British Parliamentary (BP) debate tournament —which featured 28 teams from the United States, Canada and Korea—from February 19-20 at Hawai‘i Pacific University. 
The UH Mānoa team won the island division for the second year in a row and came in second overall in the tournament. Team captain Daniel Hugo was awarded second place in individual speaking among 56 competitors. En route to the elimination rounds, UH Mānoa debaters defeated teams from strong programs such as New York University, Northwest, Seattle, and HPU.
The A team, consisting of Hugo and Eliot St. John, was seeded after preliminary rounds and competed in a tight final, facing teams from La Verne, York University (Canada), and McNeese State. B team members Christian Gilbert and Kyle Dahlin narrowly missed the semis. And, after six rounds, the C team of Keoni Davey and Jay-me Morita made it to the semi-finals, seeded fourth overall.
The Mānoa team has been in existence for only two years, and is directed by Department of Speech Assistant Professor Robert Boller.
For Morita and Gilbert, this was the first time competing in a BP tournament. Said Morita, “I’m excited and so proud to be a part of such a talented team.  I recently made the Nationals squad and can’t think of a better academic pursuit than debate.”
BP debate is a limited preparation format modeled upon coalition governments with four teams competing in each round. The debaters have only 15 minutes to prepare for each debate and cannot use electronic devices as aids. Over the past two years, the UH Mānoa team has competed in BP competitions from Denver to Istanbul and Botswana.
In April, the UH Mānoa team is off to the U.S. Universities Tournament (Nationals) at the University of Vermont to face top-notch U.S. debate programs such as Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. Locally, the Debate and Forensics Society is gearing up to host its third Warrior Intramural Debate Tournament on April 16 at the Mānoa campus. Teams from HPU, and Hawai‘i, Windward and Leeward community colleges, are expected to participate.  
For more information on the team, please contact Boller at