HWS Debate Team President is a Rising Star – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Debate Team President is a Rising Star

Reed Herter ’22 is finishing a first term as president of the HWS Debate Team. While this role requires a lot of time and dedication, Herter has taken it upon themself to promote debate excellence for HWS Debate as well as the broader debate community.

Herter stands among the top students in the North American circuit. Since joining the HWS team, Herter has been involved in running tournaments in various roles. While it is not highly unusual for a student to have success in any one aspect of the debating world, it is rare for one student to have such high-level accomplishments in just about every aspect of debate like Herter does.

Recognized internationally, Herter was invited to serve as a chief adjudicator for the “Feed the Hungry” tournament in Nepal. At each tournament, two or three chief adjudicators are in charge of writing motions, organizing the tournament and helping train participants. It is a high-profile role reserved for accomplished and experienced judges. Herter’s advancement to the role as a junior reflects highly on their work ethic and talent.

Chief adjudicators work closely with a tabulation team that tracks the debaters’ scores using a highly specialized software program. Previously, Herter served as a member of multiple teams, including at the 2019 North American University Debate Championships, the 2020 Empire Debates, 2020 Eastern Online IV, and 2020 Wom*n and Gender Minorities Online Debating Championships.

Earlier this year, Herter also served as the tournament director for the 2020 United States Universities Debating Championships. With an average of more than 200 teams annually and the global pandemic forcing the competition online, this role was no easy feat. Herter had only a matter of weeks to organize and train a team of more than 20 volunteers to facilitate a smooth running of one of the largest and most prestigious tournaments in the North American circuit.

As a debater, Herter has placed as a semi-finalist at the Masters Competition at the World Universities Debating Championships held in Bangkok, Thailand and been in elimination rounds at the 2019 Eastern Regional Championships and the Asian Queer Open 2020. They previously served as the HWS team’s secretary as a first-year student as well.

This track record shows their status as not only a top-tier administrator and debater but makes them a well rounded and positive addition to any debate endeavor. The achievements combined make Herter a quadruple threat capable of performing in just about any aspect of a debate tournament.

“I enjoy being able to not only take part in helping others participate in an activity I enjoy but to try to bring up ideas that are important to talk about. Ideas that we need to bring more attention to are something that we should be talking about in our lives and places where we aim to have meaningful exchanges of ideas, especially ones that are so inundated with privilege,” Herter says.

Associate Professor of Philosophy Eric Barnes, who serves as head coach of HWS Debate, is not surprised by Herter’s success. “Reed is very well tuned into every aspect of debate and is simply a wonderful person to work with.  It’s no surprise so many people want Reed involved in their tournaments,” Barnes says.

During winter break, Herter will serve as a chief adjudicator of the 2020 Maharashtra Debate Open in India and aid assistant coach Marlene Pierce in running the 2020 Jamaican Open. With another year and a half left before their scheduled graduation date, the future is bright for Herter and the squad as they continue to lead the team to success.

The photo above features Reed Herter ’22 after receiving a Bonsai tree in thanks for work done with 2020 U.S. Nationals at HWS.