Colgate University’s Debate Society attended the National Debate Championship Tournament for British Parliamentary debate at Portland State University in Oregon from April 10 to 14. One team, comprised of junior Stephen West and first-year Andrew Eldredge, broke into the quarter-finals at the tournament, competing against 64 other teams.
Six members of the 25-member debate society attended this national tournament – five first-years and one junior. Tryouts were held for members of the Colgate Debate Society who were interested in participating in the nationals. According to first-year Andrew Eldredge, seniors were discouraged from trying out in order to give the underclassmen more opportunities.
At Portland, the first two days of the tournament consisted of six preliminary rounds, during which each team debated against three other teams at once. The panel of judges consisted of former debaters and current debaters alike. The top 16 teams continued onto a single elimination-style tournament.
“Our goal was to make it to the finals but it was definitely a benchmark to make it to the quarter-finals,” said Eldredge, member of the quarter-finalist team. In addition to this achievement, West also received an award as ninth best speaker of the tournament.
The nationals marked the last tournament of the year for the Colgate Debate Society. Although the National Debate Championship Tournament is the major tournament of second semester, the Debate Society attends most of their large competitions during first semester.
The Debate Society has been making initiatives on campus to promote interest in debate. The President’s Cup, hosted by the Debate Society for students on campus, will award $500 to the winning team in the next week.