UR goes to Binghamton!

The University of Rochester Debate Union started the year off with a bang. The team traveled to Binghamton University for the East Region Season Opener last weekend. Half of Rochester’s 12 teams advanced to elimination debates.

Binghamton University. Or this tree on its campus.
The tab room, where pairings were released.

The U of R’s top performance was turned in by the veteran team of Alyssa Schwartz (Junior) and Vijay Kasschau (Senior). Schwartz and Kasschau were a nearly perfect in preliminary debates, finishing with a record of 5 wins and 1 loss. They advanced through two elimination rounds when they finally lost on a split decision to the City University of New York. In addition to taking home the third place trophy, Kasschau was named the tournament’s 4th best speaker and Schwartz was 2nd speaker.  Freshman Zach Taylor was also honored for his superior speaking, taking home the 8th place trophy in the Junior Varsity Division.

Freshman Zach Taylor at his first college tournament ever, receiving the 8th speaker in JV division. Ken Johnson looks on proudly in the background...
Sophomore Nina and freshman Alap (also at his first college tournament) got to the Quarter finals.

More photos from the tournament:

Fearless leader dispersing orders.
The followers. Way too early in the morning for a photo.
The 9/11 memorial area at Binghamton.
Rochester domination of the Quarterfinal rounds!
Helping veterans Alyssa and Vijay prep for semis.
The worlds team from left: Nina, Doug, Alap, Deuante, and coach Alia.

Even though the debate season is underway, there is still plenty of time for students to join the team.  To join, students simply need to attend a debate meeting in Morey 100 at 7:00pm on Monday or Thursday.  They can also email the Director of Forensics at ken.johnson@rochester.edu. No experience is required to be on the debate team – it is open to every undergraduate at the University of Rochester.
The team has a busy Fall Semester, with tournaments at Toronto, West Point, Harvard, and Vermont on the schedule available here.

Director of Forensics, Ken Johnson, summed up the Binghamton opener by stating, “This was one of our best first tournaments in a couple of years. Everybody won debates. We clearly have lots of work in front of us, but it is nice to have early success.”

Rochester Teams with Awards:


Nina Datlof (Sophmore) & Alap Patel(Freshman) (9th)

Novice Policy:

Cody Monday (Soph)/Swing (17th)

Junior Varsity Policy:

Joshua Rose (Fresh) & Zachary Taylor (Fresh) (9th)

Varsity Policy:

Vinit Akolkar (Junior) & George Weddington (Senior) (5th)
Ben Batha (Junior) & Kevin Diamond (Senior) (5th)
Vijay Kasschau (Senior) & Alyssa Schwartz (Junior) (3rd)



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