RUDU in Review: Fall 2016

RUDU ranked sixth best team in the country, Temkin and Albert ranked Top Team of the Year

RUDU members at the Harvard Tournament, where Temkin ’18 and Albert ’19 won finals.

Fall 2016 was one of the most successful semesters in the history of the Rutgers University Debate Union. For the first time ever, two of our members finished the fall semester as Top Team of the Year (Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19). Rutgers is also now ranked sixth on the American Parliamentary Debate Association circuit, which includes the most elite schools in the country. Rankings can be seen at http://apdaweb.org/standings

Tournament Results:

Johns Hopkins University:

  • Third Varsity Team: Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19
  • Eighth Varsity Speaker: Pasha Temkin ‘18

The College of William and Mary:

  • Eighth Varsity Team: Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19
  • Fourth Varsity Speaker: Max Albert ‘19

Columbia University:

  • Tenth Varsity Team: Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19
  • Sixth Novice Speaker: Andrea Vacchiano ‘19

Tufts University:

  • Fourteenth Varsity Team: Pasha Temkin ‘18 and a Harvard hybrid
  • Sixteenth Varsity Team: Vidhaath Sripathi ‘17 and David Vinarov ‘19
  • Tenth Varsity Speaker: Pasha Temkin ‘18

Harvard University:

  • Top Varsity Team: Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19
  • Eighth Novice Speaker: Patricia Jastrzebska-Perfect ‘20

American University Pro-Ams:

  • Top Varsity/Novice Team: Max Albert ‘19 and Mitchell Mullen ‘20
  • Third Varsity Speaker: Max Albert ‘19
  • Ninth Varsity Speaker: Pasha Temkin ‘18
  • Second Novice Speaker: Mitchell Mullen ‘20

George Washington University:

  • Top Varsity Team: Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19

Brandeis University:

  • Thirteenth Varsity Team: Pasha Temkin ‘18 and a CUNY hybrid
  • Eighth Novice Speaker: Patricia Jastrzebska-Perfect ‘20

The College of New Jersey:

  • Fifth Varsity Team: Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19
  • Fifth Varsity Speaker: Pasha Temkin ‘18
  • Top Novice Team: Mitchell Mullen ‘20 and Patricia Jastrzebska-Perfect ‘20
  • Ninth Novice Speaker: Mitchell Mullen ‘20

Brown University:

  • Fifth Varsity Team: Max Albert ‘19 and a Princeton hybrid
  • Second Varsity Speaker: Max Albert ‘19

Fordham University:

  • Second Varsity Team – Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19
  • Tenth Varsity Speaker – Pasha Temkin ‘18
  • Second Novice Team – Mitchell Mullen ‘20 and a CUNY hybrid

Wesleyan University:

  • Fifth Varsity Speaker – Pasha Temkin ‘18

Williams College:

  • Top Novice Team – Mitchell Mullen ‘20 and a Johns Hopkins hybrid

 

Public Debates and RUDU Events at Rutgers:

In October, RUDU took part in three major debates. The Center for European Studies and German Embassy’s German Information Center hosted a debate between RUDU and Rutgers Model Union Nations on the topic of “Resolved: Germany’s high levels of representation of women in politics makes its political system more democratic than America’s.” Max Albert ’19 and Pasha Temkin ’18 represented RUDU and won the debate according to the judge panel.

Pasha Temkin ’18 and Max Albert ’19 after winning the German debate and being crowned with Germany Embassy hats

The second debate was hosted by the Rutgers University Student Association (RUSA) and was a mock Presidential debate between the four major Presidential candidates: Donald Trump was portrayed by Larry Feltz ’16, Hillary Clinton was portrayed by Jeremy Kritz ’19, Gary Johnson was portrayed by Andrea Vacchiano ’19, and Jill Stein was portrayed by Adarsh Rangan ’19. The debate was moderated by Max Albert ’19. All four debaters would respond to questions laid by the moderator and then the audience. At the end of the night, according to a straw-poll, Hillary Clinton won with Gary Johnson in second place and  Donald Trump and Jill Stein tied for third.

L-R: Adarsh Rangan ’19 as Jill Stein; Larry Feltz ’16 as Donald Trump; Jeremy Kritz ’19 as Hillary Clinton; Andrea Vacchiano ’19 as Gary Johnson

On October 17, the School of Communication and Information hosted a debate with the topic: “This House would kneel during the National Anthem.” Government was represented by David Vinarov ’19 and Adarsh Rangan ’19, while Opposition was represented by Naeem Hossain ’18 and Jeremy Kritz ’19. The debate was hosted in a packed room and the straw poll was remarkably close, with 31 voting for Opposition and 34 voting for Government.

The fall semester was great for RUDU, stay tuned to our website for monthly blog posts and our Facebook page for weekly updates throughout the spring!

Rutgers wins Harvard AND American University Tournaments

“Darkest Horse”, Temkin and Albert, now ranked second top team in the country after clinching Harvard

L-R Max Albert '19 and Pasha Temkin '18 hold up the John Harvard Cup, the most prestigious award at APDA's most contested regular tournament
L-R Max Albert ’19 and Pasha Temkin ’18 hold up the John Harvard Cup, the most prestigious award at APDA’s most contested regular tournament

The weekend of October 7-8, the Rutgers University Debate Union traveled all the way to Boston, MA to compete at the largest APDA tournament of the year: the annual Harvard University tournament. Although success was by no means unfamiliar to Pasha Temkin ’18 and Max Albert ’19, who had won Top Novice Team at Harvard last year, it was certainly a happy surprise when the two rose up to win Top Varsity Team at the largest tournament of the year!

Temkin ’18 and Albert ’19 had defeated a number of skilled debaters before winning finals: they faced a Brown/Boston University hybrid on the topic of African economics, a Princeton team on personal loan finance, Stanford on religion, and Brown on the merits of free trade.

Our novice, Patricia Jastrzebska-Perfect ’20, hybrided with a Swarthmore debater and won Eighth Novice Speaker! Jastrzebska-Perfect ’20 was one of the few non-breaking 4-1’s, an extremely impressive feat for a novice debater.

Albert and Mullen win American University ProAms

Rutgers won another tournament the weekend of October 14-15 in Washington, D.C. at American University! As a ProAms tournament, all teams were either varsity-novice or novice-novice. Max Albert ’19, after winning Harvard with Temkin ’18, paired up with Mitchell Mullen ’20 and ended up winning Top Team against 79 other teams. In outrounds, they faced George Washington University in quarterfinals, Georgetown in semifinals, and Swarthmore in finals. Both debaters also won speaking awards. The team awards were as follows:

  • Third Varsity Speaker: Max Albert ’19
  • Ninth Varsity Speaker: Pasha Temkin ’18
  • Second Novice Speaker: Mitchell Mullen ’20
RUDU members convene in GA
RUDU members convene in GA

Next week, RUDU will be visiting the nation’s capitol once again to compete at The George Washington University. Stay tuned for updates!

RUDU in Review: September 2016

Recapping September’s Events

September has been quite an exciting month for the Rutgers University Debate Union! We’ve welcomed many new members and been more involved with the Rutgers community than ever before. RUDU began the month by holding a series of demonstration debates for the Rutgers public. These two debates attracted dozens of students. Debating were Max Albert ’19, Pasha Temkin ’18, Naeem Hossain ’18, and Jeremy Kritz ’19.

On September 21, RUDU participated in a full-house debate sponsored by the Eagleton Institute of Politics. The topic was whether or not the electoral college should be abolished. On Government were Pasha Temkin ’18 and David Vinarov ’19, while Opposition was represented by Max Albert ’19 and Andrea Vacchiano ’19. When the crowd took to a vote, students decided that Government had won the debate. RUDU was published in The Daily Targum the next day!

 

The competitive results of September were as follows:

College of William and Mary:

  • Eighth Varsity Team – Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19
  • Fourth Varsity Speaker – Max Albert ‘19

Columbia University:

  • Tenth Varsity Team – Pasha Temkin ‘18 and Max Albert ‘19
  • Sixth Novice Speaker – Andrea Vacchiano ‘19

Swarthmore College Novice:

Novice and Varsity members wait outside the RUDU Van before heading out to Swarthmore, PA
Novice and Varsity members wait outside the RUDU Van before heading out to Swarthmore, PA
  • Mitchell Mullen ‘20 and Zakaria Nishtar ‘20 make a non-breaking 4-1 record

Tufts University:

  • Fourteenth Varsity Team – Pasha Temkin ‘18 and a Harvard hybrid
  • Sixteenth Varsity Team – Vidhaath Sripathi ‘17 and David Vinarov ‘19
  • Tenth Varsity Speaker – Pasha Temkin ‘18

Overall, RUDU kicked off the fall semester to a great start!

RUDU Kicks Off Semester at Johns Hopkins; Wins Third Varsity Team

The first APDA tournament of the 2016-17 academic year took place on September 3-4 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. Naturally, RUDU kicked off the new year to a great start by snagging a team award and a varsity speaker award! The teams competing were:

  • Pasha Temkin ’18 and Max Albert ’19
  • Naeem Hossain ’18 and a Temple hybrid
  • Jeremy Kritz ’19 and a Temple hybrid

We were also joined by RUDU dinos Quinn Maingi ’15 and Russell Potter ’15!

L-R Pasha Temkin ’18, Naeem Hossain ’18, Max Albert ’19 at the Fall Involvement Fair on September 5

Temkin ’18 and Albert ’19, at their first tournament as varsity debaters, made it to semi-finals and finished out as the Third Top Varsity Team of the whole tournament! They beat out the ultimate Brandeis/Tufts champions in the tournament’s preliminary rounds. Temkin ’18 and Albert ’19 are also now tied for the Second Team of the Year award on APDA. Temkin ’18 was also awarded the Eighth Varsity Speaker award at the Hopkins tournament.

Next week, RUDU will be competing at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. Until then, RUDU will be doing demonstration rounds this Tuesday and Thursday and encourage all interested students to join us at 9pm in the SC&I building!

Interested in Debate? Demonstration Rounds To Be Held First Week

Welcome back, Scarlet Knights! The Rutgers University Debate Union is very pleased to be hosting two demonstration rounds for the first week of classes of the Fall 2016 semester – on Tuesday, September 6 and Thursday, September 8, our varsity members will be doing demonstration rounds to give a brief overview of what parliamentary debate is like. They will be in room 212 of the School of Communication and Information building on College Avenue, whose entrance is tangential to Alexander Library. The meeting will begin at 9PM with snacks and a brief overview of what parliamentary debate is, and will culminate in an exciting round between our varsity debaters. Our two former novices, Max Albert ’19 and Pasha Temkin ’18 were respectively ranked Second- and Third Novice Speakers on one of the most prestigious debating circuits in the world, the American Parliamentary Debate Association. They also broke an APDA record by being ranked Seventh Team of the Year and being the first novice-novice team to break into the top ten Teams of the Year. The circuit contains every Ivy League university, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, Johns Hopkins, Swarthmore, Williams, and other top schools. Rutgers was also ranked Seventh Club of the Year. If you’re interested in reading more about the 2015-16 season, click here.

Despite the competitive success of the Rutgers team, we welcome absolutely all Rutgers students to join! Our members have what ranges from four years of high school experience to absolutely none. No high school experience is required for competing on APDA or being apart of RUDU. We also welcome students who have experience in policy debate, public forum, Lincoln-Douglas, speech, Model UN, Model Congress, and mock trial to come give parliamentary a try! You can RSVP through the Facebook event page or by emailing rutgersdebate@gmail.com, for those without Facebook.

The week after the demonstration rounds, RUDU will host break-out sessions and workshops for students interested in continuing debate.  It is heavily recommended that any students interested in RUDU participate in these workshops, as they will prove to be invaluable as the year goes on. Any students still interested in debate can come to our regular Tuesday and Thursday meetings to practice and learn more about debate!

 

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.

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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!