Vijay Kasschau named top speaker at University of Vermont Huber Debate Tournament

Contrary to popular belief, Vijay Kasschau (pictured) did not specially request this blog post title.

In keeping with URDU tradition, the debate team brought 40 people to the Huber Debate Tournament – the largest group we’ve had thus far. Some people saw debate for the first time (in both Policy and Worlds), and some debaters saw success at what was to be their last Huber debate tournament in their debate careers.

One of them was senior policy debater Vijay Kasschau, who was named top Open speaker of the tournament. Another senior Kevin Diamond was named third Open speaker, while his partner Ben Batha was awarded sixth speaker, also in the Open division. Together, they were undefeated with an impressive 6-0 record in the preliminary debates. Diamond and Ben ultimately reached semifinals, where they dropped to Cornell.

Tommye Weddington and Vinit Akolkar made it to quarterfinals, where they dropped to New School on a 2-1 decision. Another successful open team, consisting of Vijay and May Zhee Lim reached quarterfinals, only to be walked over by Diamond and Ben.

Lakshmi Miller-Vedam (left) at her first tournament, with her partner (and roommate!) Rebecca Schaffer (right).

In the novice division, the team of Levan Bokeria and Cody Monday made an impressive run. They defeated Cornell in the octafinals and Binghamton in the quarterfinals before finally dropping to another Binghamton team in the semifinals.

The success did not stop at the debaters, for Ken Johnson was also given an award: top judge of the tournament.

Both coaches and debaters went home happy.

On the Worlds side of things, the team of Josh Rose and Zachary Taylor kept up their success in debate in their freshmen year, breaking to novice finals at this tournament. Zach also swept up the award for 3rd best novice speaker of the tournament. There were seven teams and two students judging, along with alumnus Christine Pittman who offered to judge.

Zach has a penchant for collecting speaker awards despite being in his first semester of college debate.
His partner, Josh, in the novice finals.

These were the motions released at the Huber tournament:

1. THBT inmates who hold prison jobs should be paid at least the minimum wage.
2. THBT Spain should end bullfighting.
3. THBT Saudi Arabia should not allow Afghans, Pakistanis or anyone else who have al Qaeda bases in their home country to travel to Mecca to perform the Hajj or Umra.
4. THW only issue transfer payments to individuals who vote.
5. THW pay drug addicts to be sterilized.
6. In countries with high AIDS rates, THW impose mandatory male circumscision.

Quarters: THBT major fiscal policy decisions should be subject to a referendum
Semis: THBT ordinary police officers should not carry lethal weapons
Finals: THBT black comedians, musicians, and other public figures should not use the n-word.
Novice final: THW spoil the ballots of racist candidates

The worlds team at UVM - debaters and judges alike. Clearly a happy bunch.




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