Westpoint (policy)

The URDU had traveled and debated at Westpoint on the 8th and 9th of October. It was a very tough tournament and many lessons were learned.14633219_1327367973953795_2430670480413970615_o14608726_1327367943953798_7322150585384578479_o

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HWS (Worlds)

The URDU had competed at HWS on the 1st and 2nd of October. The qualifications of the team at the tournament include Ben Frazer and Graeme McGuire debating as finalists and Ben Frazer being tied as a finalist. The topic for the final was “This house regrets the politics of the new campus left.” The topic for the semi final was “This house regrets the inculcation of national identity through shared rituals (eg national ceremonies, anthems, pledges of allegiance, etc). Other topics for the rounds included: “This house would sanction the intelligence, military, and political leaders of Pakistan”, “This house regrets the automation of jobs previously performed by humans (eg self driving, self checkouts etc)”, and “This house would allocate scholarships and financial aid exclusively on the basis of financial need”.14570585_1321280497895876_2124014857830530753_o14484902_1319917901365469_3931201286526243082_n

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Rutgers (policy)

The URDU had left on the 29th of September for their first policy debate tournament this fall. After a 6 hour drive to New Jersey, early friday morning, the teams had a great time debating. The teams participating were Melissa and Anthony, Brianna and Ben and Tobi and Cedric. URDU’s accomplishments include Ben Morbeck winning the second speaker award in Junior Varsity and Bri Terrell and Ben Morbeck have also successfully won the JV division in policy.14358654_1314113945279198_7517919729791624838_n


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2016, Brad Smith Debate Tournament

The 2016 Brad Smith Debate Tournament was hosted by the University of Rochester Debate Union, and was the Northeast season opener for Worlds Debate and the Northeast Novice season opener for Policy Debate. The tournament was held on Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th.

The tournament is named in honor of H. Brad Smith, a longtime and invaluable supporter of the University of Rochester Debate Union; both Brad and Jane Smith had joined us to help with judging and hosimg_8724pitality. The tournament was CEDA and SAMBA sanctioned.

The adjudication team for the 2016 Brad Smith Tournament was composed of many great debaters- the CAs were Bexley Brown and Josh Martin and the DCAs were Reefat Aziz, Sarah Hofmann, Miriam Kohn, and Chris Perkins.  URDU had selected three equity officers from a pool of immensely qualified candidates to uphold equity in the British Parli
amentary and Policy divisions of the tournament- Wahab Alhaji, a senior; Dan Lemire, a senior; and Ben Frazer, a junior and our squad’s Worlds Captain. The whole URDU family did a great job administrating the tournament, swing debating and volunteering!


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USU Nationals 2016

The USU Nationals tournament is the ultimate instance in which our precious World’s debaters are put to the test in order to push themselves to their limits in terms of knowledge of the world and debating ability. Eight of our debaters, six of them who participated in the open division, and two who have enrolled in the novice division, have undertaken the task of traveling all the way to Atlanta, Georgia so that they could compete and come out as better debaters. In the tournament, a very large number of teams registered, and there were actually thirty-two teams that broke out of the preliminaries. One of these thirty-two teams was the team consisting of Sarah Hofmann and Ben Frazer, who finished just below the top ten teams breaking. Both debaters also finished as octofinalists in the tournament, so we can at least say that the URDU left Atlanta with some success in their hands. The amount of knowledge our debaters have learned throughout debating was impressive as well; hearing different arguments and perspectives from different sides has allowed them to gather different sorts of information to further enrich their minds. Overall, not a bad experience, and the URDU is already looking forward to doing even better at the next USU Nationals tournament!

Some of the motions presented in this tournament were:

TH regrets the 24 hour news cycle

In large ethnically diverse societies, THW institute uniform secular civil codes

THBT Palestinian violence against Israeli civilian targets is justified


Some of our debaters are assembled…


Ben and Sarah compete in the octofinals!!!!


The URDU in USU!!!


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CEDA Nationals 2016

In this tough and unique Policy tournament, the URDU went to Binghamton once again so that they can compete in a much harder and challenging tournament compared to the Regionals tournament they went to earlier the previous month. In the spirit of the Easter weekend, the people that came to the tournament have both enjoyed and challenged themselves into making the most of the overall experience. The intense rounds that came around proved that the debaters had a fun and yet intense learning session during that weekend. Eventually, all those who came benefited from the experience, and Merkle was around to support the team as well! It was a relaxing, but mentally exhausting experience for those who came, especially for our coaches who decided to come along. At least we can all appreciate the fact that CEDA Nationals was held in nearby beautiful Binghamton!


Our debaters and coaches spending their time relaxing at a restaurant!!


Merkle decided to join in collecting Easter Eggs during the CEDA tournament!!!

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Pan American Universities Debating Championship 2016

On one fine March weekend, the URDU flew all the way to Jamaica in order to engage in one of the toughest tournaments ever faced, and they came out with great success in their hands! The warm weather and the Caribbean atmosphere were greatly felt, and the tournament itself served as a platform of knowledge and competition. Fortunately in this case, there was much of both factors: knowledge and competition, and everyone greatly benefited from them. The tropical atmosphere in Jamaica made up for much of the enjoyable experiences that our debaters took while sightseeing and taking photos of the island. We had Miriam Kohn and Chris Perkins finish as finalists, and we also had Reefat Aziz and Kate Zheng finish as the top and the 3rd best ESL speakers of the tournament respectively. Fascinating tournament all together and we hope that next year’s Pan-Am tournament can exceed this one in terms of enjoyment and success!

Some of the motions presented in this tournament were:

TH supports a coup d’etat in Venezuela

THW stop commemorating wars

THBT states should implement compulsory licensing of all patented essential medications

THW allow individuals to donate a significant portion of the taxes they owe to the state to charities or non-profit organizations.


Precious view of the sea..



Reefat and Miriam looking happy in Jamaica!!!


One of the motions about to be announced…


Miriam having fun with some company!


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