Debaters Among the Best in North America – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Debaters Among the Best in North America

Yale University’s annual debate tournament is the largest and most competitive tournament in North America.  More than 150 teams competed at the tournament on Oct. 22 – 23, and the HWS team of Dan Maguire’11 and Buzz Klinger ’12 made it to the quarter-finals.  Along the way, they defeated teams from Yale, Harvard, MIT, Boston University, McGill, Loyola, Marymount, Carleton, Duke, LaVerne, Bates, and two teams from Stanford.  In the quarter-finals, Maguire and Klinger were barely edged out by a team consisting of two Harvard law students who previously debated for Cambridge University. 

“Many of the top teams include graduate students, which makes the HWS team’s performance even more impressive,” says HWS Debate Team coach and Assistant Professor of Philosophy Eric Barnes. “This is a great accomplishment for our team, and it really bodes well for our team’s performance at the World Championships this year in Botswana.” 

Individually, Maguire placed 21st out of more than 300 debaters, while Klinger placed 29th.

Other HWS teams attending the tournament were Will McConnell ’12 and James Gramolini ’13, Amira Abdulkadir ’14 and Yuqi Ge ’14, and Andy Wynkoop ’14 and Anna Dorman ’14.  The team of Dorman and Wynkoop also did particularly well, narrowly missing the cutoff for the novice finals.  In addition, Marjorie Mitchell’14, Jon Goldman’12, HWS alum David Hernandez ’10 and Barnes attended the tournament as judges.  Barnes was selected as one of just four judges to chair a quarter-final adjudication panel.  Hernandez, who is working as an assistant coach for St. John’s University, was selected as one of the 24 panelist judges for the quarter-finals, an indication of the respect he earned on the debate circuit when he debated for HWS.

The HWS Debate Team practices on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m.  Students interested in checking out the team should contact the team’s President ( or the team’s Development Officer (  Students can join at any time during the year.