At the Bard IV Debate Tournament, Liam Sullivan ’20 and Sreyan Kanungo ’23 became the East Coast season opener champions – topping Cornell University, University of Rochester and University of Vermont competitors in the final round. The tournament hosted 68 teams from 14 schools. HWS brought nine teams and three judges.
Sullivan and Kanungo qualified for elimination rounds in the open division, advanced to the finals and won the competition. The topic of their final round called for debate on whether people who commit crimes against humanity deserve to be punished in the afterlife. The competition was the first time Sullivan and Kanungo participated in a tournament as partners, and was Sullivan’s first debate competition.
Kanungo was awarded the second best novice speaker and sixth best speaker overall at the competition, while Sullivan was awarded the fourth best novice speaker.
In addition to the champions, the other HWS teams had competitive showings with several teams narrowly missing the ‘break’ into elimination rounds. Each team picked up points as they competed against schools such as Colgate University, Vassar College and Middlebury College.
“For most of the team, this was their first ever competition and their perseverance, capacity to adapt and grow, and clever arguments show that HWS has a bright future as the season continues,” says Assistant Debate Coach and Instructor Marlene Pierce.
HWS also had student judges who were promoted by the tournament to a higher level for their role in helping the tournament run smoothly and increasing the quality of adjudication. Gizem Hussain ’21 was selected as a judge for the semi-finals, putting her among the top ranked adjudicators at the tournament. Additionally, Director of HWS Debate and Associate Professor of Philosophy Eric Barnes and Pierce joined Hussain as judges, chairing panels until the semi-finals.
Next up, HWS will host the North American University Debating Championships (NAUDC), one of the largest and most prestigious tournaments in North America, on Oct. 4-6. For more information about the debate team or how to join the award winning program, contact Eric Barnes (BARNES@hws.edu) or Marlene Pierce (MPIERCE@hws.edu).