Bleary-eyed and anxious as to what the day would bring, eight debaters piled into minivans and drove to Rutgers, New Jersey for the University of Rochester Debate Union’s policy debate season opener. Since Rutgers was the first policy tournament of the year, the ride was filled with students practicing their speeches, going over negative strategies, and taking the occasional power nap to keep themselves going (not to mention being entertained by the coaches’ interesting taste in music). Once in New Jersey, students put on their game faces and prepared to debate the many aspects of this year’s resolution: marijuana, prostitution, organ sales, online gambling, and physician-assisted suicide.
After two days of intense debates and learning the many perspectives to the year’s resolution, the Rochester debaters left their mark. One of our novice teams, Nick and Abdul, cleared to elimination rounds as the 8th seed out of 40 team in the novice division and advanced to quarterfinals. Rochester’s second novice team of Junior & Kate went 3-3, as did our JV team of Ben and Anne. Tobi and Emoni also went 2-4 in the JV bracket. Additionally, Nick Heitsch took home 6th novice speaker out of the 80 novice debaters in the bracket.
The strong performance was an excellent way to start the season and whetted the team’s appetite for further competition!