RUDU gathers in the bright sun of the Amherst campus to celebrate the last regular season tournament of the year.  Left to right:  Grisam Shah, Nick Hansen, Ali Ismail, Adam Bomeisl, Maxwell Williams, Quinn Maingi, Alex Jubb, Yaqarah Letellier, Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Storey Clayton, Henry Phipps, Deepta Janardhan, Sean Leonard, Arbi Llaveshi, and Russell Potter.
RUDU gathers in the bright sun of the Amherst campus to celebrate the last regular season tournament of the year. Left to right: Grisam Shah, Nick Hansen, Ali Ismail, Adam Bomeisl, Maxwell Williams, Quinn Maingi, Alex Jubb, Yaqarah Letellier, Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Storey Clayton, Henry Phipps, Deepta Janardhan, Sean Leonard, Arbi Llaveshi, and Russell Potter.

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) closed out one of the most successful years in its history with a strong finish at the Amherst tournament. Russell Potter & Alex Jubb made semifinals, Sean Leonard & Henry Phipps made quarterfinals, and Phipps qualified for Nationals in the last weekend of the regular season, breaking last year’s team record for qualifications.

Here are the official results:
Russell Potter & Alex Jubb – 4th Team
Sean Leonard & Henry Phipps – 7th Team
Quinn Maingi – 9th Speaker
Sean Leonard – 10th Speaker

Last year, RUDU set a team record with seven qualifications for Nationals, sending five full teams. This year, Rutgers eclipsed that mark with eight quals, behind only Yale (11) and Harvard (9). Rutgers also finished the year ranked 5th, less than 4 points behind rival Johns Hopkins for 4th. Rutgers has finished one rank ahead of Hopkins in the final national standings in two of the previous three seasons.

The Rutgers debaters qualified for Nationals are Potter, Leonard, Phipps, Maingi, Ashley Novak, Arbi Llaveshi, Rachel Moon, and Nick Hansen. All but Novak will be attending the National Championships as she elected to end her debating career at the Princeton tournament in March. The seven qualified debaters will be joined by three teammates to comprise the five Rutgers teams representing the university at Nationals. The National Championships this year will be held at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from April 18-20, 2014. RUDU is now beginning its last week of extensive preparation for the Championships, where Novak and Chris Bergman finished 9th overall last year.

Novak finished 7th Speaker of the Year (SOTY), the first time a Rutgers debater has ever finished in the top ten of those standings at year’s end. Everyone finishing ahead of her is an Ivy League student with the exception of one from Brandeis who finished tied for 5th. She was also the second-ranked female speaker in the league, behind Brown’s Jean McCabe, who finished 3rd in the overall SOTY standings. They were joined by Swarthmore’s Jodie Goodman and Brandeis’ Shira Almeleh in marking the most women in the top ten of SOTY since the 2001-2002 season, when half the top ten were female.

The national top five teams on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit were unchanged from last year, though the rankings reshuffled a bit. This year, Rutgers was fifth behind Yale, Harvard, Brandeis, and Johns Hopkins. Last season, Yale was also top, Brandeis second, Rutgers third, Johns Hopkins fourth, and Harvard fifth. Despite finishing 5th this season, Rutgers actually set a team record for rankings points in the College of the Year (COTY) standings, with 257.5 edging last year’s mark of 257.

Here are the final Top 25 rankings for the APDA in 2013-2014:

Rank College/University Points
1 Yale University 558.75
2 Harvard University 343
3 Brandeis University 332.5
4 Johns Hopkins University 261.25
5 Rutgers University 257.5
6 Brown University 245.5
7 Columbia University 196.5
8 George Washington University 196
9 Bates College 193.25
10 American University 157.5
11 College of William and Mary 153.5
12 Princeton University 147.5
13 Swarthmore College 142
14 Boston University 50
15 University of Maryland 35
16 University of Chicago 27
17 Stanford University 16
18 Georgetown University 10
19 Northeastern University 8
19 Providence College 8
21 Tufts University 7
22 New York University 6
22 Middlebury College 6
22 University of Pittsburgh 6
25 Moody Bible Institute 4

Rutgers is one of just three public institutions in this year’s top 25, ahead of #11 William & Mary and #15 Maryland. Rutgers finished ahead of New Jersey rival Princeton for the fourth straight year.