HWS Debates at World Championship – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Debates at World Championship

Amira Abdulkadir ’14 and Anna Dorman ’14 recently represented the HWS Debate Team at the 33rd World Universities Debating Championship in Berlin, Germany. The largest international debate tournament in the world, the competition consisted of nine preliminary debate rounds for 400 teams and 300 adjudicators.  

Conducted in the British Parliamentary Style of debate, each team had the potential to earn from 0-3 points, equalling the number of teams they defeated in that round. Abdulkadir and Dorman were one point shy of the 18 needed to make it to the elimination series.

“This was a very impressive performance,” says HWS Debate coach and Assistant Professor of Philosophy Eric Barnes, who also served as a judge for the Championship competition.  “This is the second best showing HWS has ever had at Worlds, which we have been attending since 2006.”

The one of a kind experience will help prepare the team for future competition, says Dorman.  “Amira and I are ready to compete and represent HWS on the regional and international circuit.”

Dorman, junior class president and a double major in economics and international relations, is also a campus EcoRep, member of Americans for Informed Democracy and a volunteer at the Geneva Boys and Girls Club. Abdulkadir works as a mentor to students from North Street Elementary School and Geneva High School, teaching both the intricacies of debate and the power of being able to make a cohesive argument. She is the Colleges’ first Zawadi scholar.

Also at the World competition was Gerald “Buzz” Klinger ‘ 12, who was selected to judge the elimination rounds, “which indicates that the tournament organizers had a very high opinion of his ability as a judge,” says Barnes.

At last year’s World University Debate Championship in Manila, Klinger and William McConnell ’12 ranked 21st in the world. They were among only five U.S. colleges and universities in the final group, standing with teams from Yale, Stanford, Harvard and the University of Alaska.

Formed in the fall of 2004, the HWS debate team has competed throughout North America and the world. This coming April, HWS will host the seventh annual HWS/IDEA Round Robin Invitational. Second only to the World University Debate Championships in competitiveness, the Invitational is the destination for top debating teams from across the globe.


Amira Abdulkadir ’14 and Anna Dorman ’14 are pictured above in front of a remaining section of the Berlin Wall.