Rachel Moon broke to elimination rounds for the first time in her career at William and Mary and the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) ran their break-weekend streak to sixteen with two teams in the quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Rutgers also had the 9th and 10th teams, both just missing the break, giving RUDU 40% of the top ten teams at a tournament for the first time ever. RUDU also broke to novice semifinals for the second time in as many weekends and the overall performance was sufficient for Rutgers to pass Harvard in the national rankings two weeks into the season.
Here is the full list of awards won by Rutgers at William & Mary:
Russell Potter & Arbi Llaveshi – 6th Team
Henry Phipps & Rachel Moon – 8th Team
Quinn Maingi & Alex Jubb – 9th Team
Sean Leonard & Adam Bomeisl – 10th Team
Russell Potter – 9th Speaker
Vidhaath Sripathi & Suraj Oza – 3rd Novice Team
Nick Hansen & Lin Lan – 5th Novice Team
The breaks for Potter/Llaveshi and Phipps/Moon were the first ever for each of these partnerships, who now find themselves among four Rutgers pairings ranked in the top fifteen in the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) Team of the Year (TOTY) rankings. Moon broke for the first time ever, varsity or novice, in the second tournament of her fourth semester of debate. While RUDU passed Harvard in the APDA College of the Year (COTY) rankings, both schools were passed by #3 George Washington University and #4 Johns Hopkins University, who had a team each in finals at William & Mary. Rutgers now stands ranked fifth behind those schools, #1 Brandeis, and #2 Yale. The rankings tend to fluctuate fairly wildly early in the season as they are based on cumulative achievements and each tournament makes for significant changes early on.
The third tournament of the year for Rutgers will be held this weekend at Columbia University and RUDU plans to send its largest contingent yet. The promising novice class will seek to make it three straight weekends in the elimination rounds for first-year debaters. Already four separate novices have made the break. Meanwhile, seven varsity debaters from Rutgers have made elimination rounds already and three more who qualified for Nationals last year have been in the top ten. No other university has put more debaters in the break at tournaments this year; only Yale also has seven.
Rutgers is just two points behind Hopkins in the rankings and eight points ahead of #6 Harvard. The top ten is rounded out by #7 Maryland, #8 Princeton, #9 Swarthmore, and a tie at #10 between Brown and Amherst.
The Daily Targum, Rutgers’ student newspaper, printed an article about RUDU’s early successes on Friday. The article can be read here, though it should be noted that Yale, not Princeton, is ahead of Rutgers, and the headline is thus slightly incorrect.
RUDU will be holding its first public debate of the year on the Rutgers campus, at 8:00 PM on Wednesday the 18th in Tillett 254 (Livingston Campus). The topic will be whether the United States should close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and the debate will be followed by a faculty panel of three Political Science professors.