RUDU Ends The Year With Historic Records

(L-R: Geneva Kropper, Sean Leonard, Pasha Temkin, Jeremy Kritz, Larry Feltz, David Vinarov, Naeem Hossain, Max Albert, Nick Hansen, Adarsh Rangan, Andrea Vacchiano, Matthew Maddex)

As the 2015-16 academic year has come to a close, the Rutgers University Debate Union is happy to announce that at APDA Nationals, hosted by New York University on April 22-24, we set several historic records. Our teams were as follows:

  • Sean Leonard ‘16/Geneva Kropper ‘16
  • Pasha Temkin ‘18/Max Albert ‘19
  • Larry Feltz ‘17/Naeem Hossain ‘18

Sean Leonard was named 19th Varsity Speaker and received the Jeff Williams award (graduating senior with the most top 10 -OTY finishes) and the Chris Porcaro award (graduating senior with the most top speaker finishes), the first time any Rutgers debater has been so distinguished.

Max Albert was named Top Novice and Tenth Varsity Speaker. Pasha Temkin was named Second Novice and Seventeenth Varsity Speaker. Together, they broke (being the first novice/novice team in APDA history to break at Nationals!) into octofinals, placing 11th overall.


The 2015-2016 season has been a historic one for the Rutgers University Debate Union. For the first time in Rutgers history, we had two top 10 TOTY (Team of the Year) teams:

  • Sean Leonard ‘16 and Geneva Kropper ‘16 (6th TOTY)
  • Max Albert ‘19 and Pasha Temkin ‘18 (7th TOTY), the first novice-novice top 10 TOTY team in APDA history

For the first time in Rutgers history, we also had two Top 10 NOTY (Novice of the Year) finishes:

  • Max Albert ‘19 (2nd NOTY)
  • Pasha Temkin ‘18 (3rd NOTY)

For the 6th year in a row, Rutgers remains in top 10 COTY (Club of the Year)–this year, we were named Seventh Club of the Year, above teams like Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania.

Sean Leonard ‘16 finished the year as the most decorated debater in the history of Rutgers Debate:

  • Two Top 10 SOTY (Speaker of the Year) finishes: 7th (2015) and 5th (2016)
  • Two Top 10 TOTY finishes: 4th (2015) and 6th (2016)
  • Nationals finalist (2014)
  • Back-to-back Nationals semifinalist (2014, 2015)
  • The highest individual number of COTY points of any debater (2016)

Sean Leonard ’16 graduated with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy and a minor in Economics. Sean’s presence will be missed, as will be the presences of our other graduating seniors:

  • Nick Hansen ‘16 finished the year tied for Twentieth Team of the Year (with Sean Leonard) – and was named 13th Novice of the Year when he began. Hansen ‘16 graduated with a degree in Political Science and a minor in History and will work in transportation.
  • Geneva Kropper ‘16 was ranked Sixth Team of the Year this year (with Sean Leonard) – a remarkable feat considering that the team began after the Rutgers Invitational at only the beginning of February. Kropper ‘16  graduated with a degree in Government and a minor in History and will be working in D.C.

Good luck to Sean, Nick, and Geneva! We are also excited to announce that Rutgers will be hosting and competing in Nationals next year – this is a huge honor on the APDA Circuit!


RUDU Finishes Off Last Regular Tournament with Speaking Awards at TCNJ

This weekend’s tournament of April 15-16 at The College of New Jersey marked the last regular tournament of the academic year. Although it was saddening being the last regular tournament for graduating seniors on the team, RUDU performed remarkably and are ending the year on a great note! Our teams were as follows:

  • Pasha Temkin ’18/Max Albert ’19
  • Sean Leonard ’16/Swat hybrid
  • Larry Feltz ’17/Jeremy Kritz ’19

We were also joined by dinos Deepta Janardhan ’14, Quinn Maingi ’15, and graduating senior Nick Hansen ’16 who all judged!

Leonard ’16 debated extremely well with Matt Donaghy from Swarthmore, going a steady 4-1 in preliminary rounds. In outrounds, they shot through their competition and made it to finals, finishing as the Second Varsity Team, dropping only to Nathan and Ani from Princeton, who are APDA’s Team of the Year. Leonard was also named Second Varsity Speaker.

Temkin ’18 and Albert ’19 dominated the novice competition as always, winning Top Novice Team and snagging Top Novice Speaker (Temkin) and Second Novice Speaker (Albert) against many talented novices on the circuit.

Next weekend, the team will be competing at Nationals, hosted by New York University. Best of luck to those who are going!

RUDU Takes Top Novice, Novice Team at W&M II

This past weekend, the Rutgers Debate Team took a long journey to Williamsburg, Virginia to compete at the College of William and Mary. April 8 and 9 proved to be very eventful days for our debaters, and successful nonetheless!

Our varsity members, Sean Leonard ’16 and Geneva Kropper ’16, performed exceptionally well as always. The duo had a perfect 5-0 record in their preliminary rounds and debated their way victoriously up to quarter-finals! They were crowned Fifth Varsity Team, with Leonard’16 as Second Varsity Speaker. Our novice President Temkin’18 was also named Seventh Varsity Speaker, quite an accomplishment!

Temkin ’18, along with Vice-President Max Albert ’19, made Rutgers proud by dominating the novice competition, performing well enough to be crowned Top Novice Team! Temkin ’18 was also named Top Novice Speaker, with Albert ’19 making Third Novice Speaker! The two also made it to varsity quarter-finals.

RUDU Elections were also last week, and our new E-Board (which will now follow an academic year schedule) is as follows:

RUDU Executive Board, 2016-2017

  • President: Pasha Temkin ’18
  • Vice-President: Max Albert ’19
  • Treasurer: Naeem Hossain ’18
  • Novice Mentor: David Vinarov ’19
  • Public Relations Chair: Andrea Vacchiano ’19

Our next tournament will be at The College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ, and will mark our last regular tournament of the academic year.

RUDU Goes to Princeton, Breaks and Gets Top Award

There were well over 100 teams competing at the Princeton tournament of April 1-2: as an uncontested tournament, debaters flocked from all across the country, from Stanford to Chicago to Swarthmore. There were novices, varsity debaters, and even a few dinos competing, but RUDU still managed to shine by breaking into outrounds and snagging the highest novice award of all! The teams were as follows:

  • Sean Leonard ’16 and Geneva Kropper ’16
  • Pasha Temkin ’18 and Max Albert ’19
  • Jeremy Kritz ’19 and a GW hybrid
  • Larry Feltz ‘16 and Andrea Vacchiano ‘19

Judging with us were RUDU dinos Russell Potter ‘15 and Chris Bergman ‘13.

Two of our four teams broke into outrounds. Novices Temkin ‘18/Albert ‘19 picked up octofinals against Megan Wilson and Evan Lynyak from Yale, who are currently tied for Team of the Year! It was a great round, and very impressive for our novices to win against such a well-regarded team. The two then made it to quarterfinals, placing them as 7th Team of the Year, right behind Leonard/Kropper who are 6th. Leonard ‘16/Kropper ‘16 also shot through their rounds, performing beautifully and making it to octofinals before dropping to another Yale team. The greatest accomplishment of the weekend was when Vice-President Max Albert ‘19, triumphing over the many other promising young novices on the APDA circuit, was named Top Novice Speaker!

Next weekend, RUDU will be driving all the way down to Williamsburg, Virginia to debate at The College of William and Mary. This will be our third-to-last tournament for the year, as nationals are approaching very quickly. Good luck to the debaters! We will also be having RUDU elections this week.

RUDU Goes to Penn, Snags Top Varsity And Top Novice Awards

RUDU traveled to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA this past weekend of March 25-26 and did not disappoint: at a large gathering of debaters from very prestigious teams, RUDU won the top speaking awards (Top Varsity and Top Novice), and one of our novice members broke into varsity out-rounds!  The teams were as follows:

  • Sean Leonard ’16 and Geneva Kropper ’16
  • Pasha Temkin ’18 and a Bryn Mawr hybrid
  • Max Albert ’19 and a Princeton hybrid
  • David Vinarov ’19 and Jeremy Kritz ’19

We were also joined by RUDU dinos, Quinn Maingi ’15 and George Alukal ’15, who judged!

Leonard’16/Kropper’16 continued to perform phenomenally by going 5-0 in their in-round debates! They made it to quarter finals and finished as the Fifth Varsity Team, while Leonard’16 garnered Top Varsity Speaker, a huge achievement. Our novice debater Albert’19 broke into varsity rounds with his partner and finished as the 11th Varsity Team!

President Temkin’18 shot through his rounds with his partner from Bryn Mawr: they went 3-2 and then made it to novice finals (finishing as Third Novice Team)! One of the three in-rounds debates they won was against Nathan and Anirudh from Princeton, who are Third Team of the Year AND the Top Varsity Team at the Penn tournament! Quite an accomplishment from novice debaters! Temkin’18 was also impressively crowned Top Novice Speaker. Albert’19 got Tenth Novice Speaker and, because his novice team broke into varsity, was apart of the Top Novice Team!

Next week, Rutgers will be competing at Princeton University on March 31-April 1. This will also be the night of APDA elections, so good luck to Pasha Temkin in his bid for Member-at-Large, and good luck to RUDU!

RUDU Goes to Georgetown: Wins Novice Finals, Leonard/Kropper Move to 5th TOTY!

This past weekend of March 18-19 – the last few days of Spring Break at Rutgers, sadly – RUDU traveled to compete at the prestigious Georgetown University for our last D.C. tournament of the year. Our debaters were victorious in continuing their streak of winning top titles! Our teams were as follows:

  • Sean Leonard ’16/Geneva Kropper ’16
  • Pasha Temkin ’18/Max Albert ’19
  • David Vinarov ’19/Hybrid

On the varsity side, Leonard’16/Kropper’16 performed extremely well! Leonard’16 got Third Varsity Speaker, and together he and Kropper made it to finals as Second Varsity Team! Although they ended up dropping the final round, their spectacular record at the tournament garnered them more TOTY points and shot them up to Fifth Team of the Year, in the entire country, after debating for a little more than a month! Congrats to Sean and Geneva!

Temkin’18/Albert’19 shot through the Novice competition and won Novice Finals! Albert’19 got Second Novice Speaker and Temkin’18 got Third Novice Speaker. They achieved such high scores as novices that they were eligible for individual Varsity awards – a very great accomplishment that they seem to get quite often! Albert’19 was named Fourth Varsity Speaker – a stunning accomplishment and Temkin’18 impressively got Ninth Varsity Speaker.

Next week, the team will be debating at the beautiful University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on March 25-26.

Recapping RUDU’s Past Two Weeks

The past two weeks have been quite eventful for RUDU! The most recent tournament was at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA on March 11-12. Sean Leonard ’16 and Geneva Kropper ’16 surprised no one by debating exceptionally and garnering Third Varsity Team and getting Second and Fourth Varsity Speaker, respectively. In the novice competition, Max Albert ’19 and Pasha Temkin’18, our Vice President and President, got First and Second Place as Novice Speakers, AND broke to Varsity and was named Fifth Varsity Team! Albert ’19 and Temkin ’18 also were named Seventh and Eighth Varsity Speakers, respectively, which means that four out of the ten individual varsity speaking awards went to Rutgers, and two of the recipients were Rutgers novices! David Vinarov ’19 got his first speaking award, garnering Eighth Novice Speaker and winning Novice Finals with a debater from GW, while Jeremy Kritz ’19 was crowned Ninth Novice Speaker. RUDU was also reunited with dinos Deepta Janardhan ’14, Quinn Maingi ’15, and George Alukal ’15!

RUDU enjoyed modest success at the West Point Tournament on March 4-5. Leonard ’16 teamed up with Andrew Bowles from George Washington and placed as Fifth Varsity Team. Albert ’19 got placed as Third Novice Speaker AND Sixth Varsity Speaker, and teamed up with Temkin ’18 to be crowned Third Novice Team.

As Rutgers students enjoy Spring Break, our debaters will be preparing for a tournament at Georgetown this coming Friday and Saturday of March 18-19. Props to them for taking time out of their break to continue to keep Rutgers’ good name alive in the APDA community!

RUDU Smashes It in D.C., Garners Top Awards at American U.

RUDU spent the beautiful weekend of Feb. 27-28 at American University in Washington, D.C., and continued to make all of us in New Brunswick proud by performing phenomenally! The teams were as follows:

  • Sean Leonard ’16 and Geneva Kropper ’16
  • Pasha Temkin ’18 and Max Albert ’19
  • David Vinarov ’19, debating on a hybrid team

Leonard ’16 and Kropper ’16, both being crowned second and third best varsity speakers at the tournament, triumphed through all of their rounds and made it all the way to finals! In the final round, they dropped to Wang/Bowles from George Washington, which marks the second time in a row that the duo was crowned Second Varsity Team at a tournament! It is also the second time that they have debated together for Rutgers, and they are now ranked 9th Team of the Year!

Meanwhile, our two exceptional novices Temkin ’18/Albert ’19 absolutely dominated the novice competition and won novice finals in the end! As for speaking awards, their records were so good that a coin toss needed to be performed to decide which one would be Top Novice Speaker and which one would be Second Novice Speaker, with Albert ’19 lucking out and getting the top title! Because of this, he also won Tenth Varsity Speaker.

The cumulative awards were as follows:

  • Second Varsity Team: Leonard ’16 and Kropper ’16
  • Second Varsity Speaker: Leonard ’16
  • Third Varsity Speaker: Kropper ’16
  • Tenth Varsity Speaker: Albert ’19 (a novice!)
  • Eleventh Varsity Speaker: Temkin ’18 (a novice!)
  • Top Novice Team: Temkin ’18 and Albert ’19
  • Top Novice Speaker: Albert ’19
  • Second Novice Speaker: Temkin ’18

Next weekend, from March 4 – 5, the team will be at West Point! It will be a very interesting tournament.

RUDU Goes to Pro-Ams at F&M, Breaks Twice

The team poses victoriously after all of their successes! L – R: Max Albert, Pasha Temkin, Geneva Kropper, Sean Leonard, Jeremy Kritz, Larry Feltz, David Vinarov, Quinn Maingi

This weekend of February 19-20, RUDU participated in a Pro-Am tournament at the very scenic Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. As it was a Pro-Am (Professional-Amateur) competition, the teams were paired as such:

  1. Sean Leonard ’16 and Jeremy Kritz ’19
  2. Geneva Kropper ’16 and Pasha Temkin ’18
  3. Max Albert ’19 and David Vinarov ’19

Treasurer Larry Feltz ’17 came along to judge. Each team did a fantastic job: Leonard ’16 and Kritz ’19 had a 4 -1 record and broke into out-rounds, while Kropper/Temkin and Albert/Vinarov both had the same 3-2 record, but only the former group broke. Leonard ’16 and Kritz ’19 made it to quarter-finals while Kropper ’16 and Temkin ’18 took one step further and made it to semi-finals! After this tournament, Kropper is also now qualified for nationals! The team was also reunited with former RUDU President, Quinn Maingi ’15! It was a great weekend.

Next week, RUDU will be attending American University II’s on February 26-27.

RUDU Makes it to Finals at GWII

Last week, RUDU was happy to host a tournament and APDA meeting in our own New Brunswick. It was wonderful to be reunited with former members and we hoped that everyone enjoyed themselves!

This past weekend of Feb. 12-13, RUDU traveled to Washington, D.C. to debate at George Washington University. We welcomed a new member, Geneva Kropper, who hails from University of Maryland and officially became a Rutgers debater recently. She got her future with RUDU off to an excellent start with her phenomenal debates this weekend with Sean Leonard ’16. After making it to finals and dropping to a team from Franklin and Marshall, the two placed as Second Varsity Team! Individually, Leonard ’16 garnered Third Varsity Speaker and Kropper was awarded Eighth Varsity Speaker.

Pasha Temkin ’18 and Max Albert ’19 continue to do Rutgers proud by winning the title of Third Best Novice Team at the tournament. The pair also broke into the top ten for individual novice awards: Temkin’ 18 was awarded Seventh Novice Speaker and Albert ’19 was honored with Fourth Novice Speaker.

Next week, the team will be headed to Lancaster, PA to debate at Franklin and Marshall!