From left: Coach Kurt Falk, Lotanna Umenzinwa, Tahiv McGee, Hikmah Okoyah, Angeline Logan, Emma Burns, Coach Rob Burns
From left: Coach Kurt Falk, Lotanna Umenzinwa, Tahiv McGee, Hikmah Okoyah, Angeline Logan, Emma Burns, Coach Rob Burns

The Rutgers University Debate Union hosted its second annual North Star Academy Debate Tournament, with a full day of debate, competition, demonstrations, and workshops. Each round had students discussing whether or not local police offers should demilitarize. Each North Star student partnered with an experienced RUDU member, ensuring all students had a high quality coaching experience. This is one of several collaborations with high schools that RUDU has done, after public debate exhibitions at Trenton Central High School and at Point Pleasant Borough High School.

RUDU member Kurt Falk is the Assistant Coach of the North Star Academy team and helped coordinate the event. The team’s Head Coach, Rob Burns, was also in attendance. They were supported by numerous current and former RUDU members who helped run the event and served as judges of the debate competition.

After three rounds of debate, students watched Nisha Kumar (SAS ’13), Nick Hansen (SAS ’16), Quinn Maingi (SAS ’15), and Deepta Janardhan (SAS ’14) speak in an American Parliamentary demonstration round. This was followed by a college workshop, in which Janardhan, Hansen, Kumar and Becky Ratero (SAS ’16) discussed their college experiences.

While all participants were incredibly talented, the team of Deepta Janardhan and Tahiv McGee ended up on top, with an undefeated 3-0 record.

Ultimately, the event was a great opportunity for North Star students to visit a college campus and see the inner workings of a highly successful collegiate debate team while improving their skills and having fun.

Janardhan and McGee celebrate their victory
Janardhan and McGee celebrate their victory