The Rutgers contingent of competitors and judges at Swarthmore lines up after quarterfinals.  Left to right:  Sean Leonard, Russell Potter, Sarthi Tuli, Arbi Llaveshi, Storey Clayton, Henry Phipps, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Farhan Ali, George Alukal, Jason Boyle, Quinn Maingi, and Nick Hansen.  (Not pictured:  Deepta Janardhan)
The Rutgers contingent of competitors and judges at Swarthmore lines up after quarterfinals. Left to right: Sean Leonard, Russell Potter, Sarthi Tuli, Arbi Llaveshi, Storey Clayton, Henry Phipps, Alex Jubb, Zach Sinkiewicz, Lin Lan, Farhan Ali, George Alukal, Jason Boyle, Quinn Maingi, and Nick Hansen. (Not pictured: Deepta Janardhan)

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) made the elimination rounds for the seventh straight weekend on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit, finishing 6th and 10th teams and inching closer to additional qualifications to the National Championships.

Here are the official results achieved by RUDU at Swarthmore, which broke to partial octofinals:
Sean Leonard & Nick Hansen – 6th Team
Henry Phipps & Alex Jubb – 10th Team
Sean Leonard – 3rd Speaker
Nick Hansen – 5th Novice Speaker

Additionally, Ashley Novak and her hybrid partner were in semifinals at the weekend’s other tournament at Boston University:
Ashley Novak & Shira Almeleh [Brandeis] – 3rd Team
Ashley Novak – 7th Speaker

Hansen now stands just half a point away from qualifying for Nationals, having come up just short in a 2-1 decision in quarterfinals with Leonard. Leonard’s 3rd speaker finish marked his fourth time in five tournaments where he has finished in the top seven speakers and the third time of those where he has been in the top three. With this surge, he now stands ranked 13th in APDA’s annual Speaker of the Year (SOTY) rankings for the season, and is second among sophomore debaters in the league.

Hansen, meanwhile, won a novice speaker award for the fourth straight tournament, all of them top five placings. He has risen back to twelfth overall in the Novice of the Year (NOTY) rankings with three weekends remaining in the season. Novak remains 9th ranked SOTY and has her sights on being the first Rutgers debater to finish the year in the top ten. The current record is held by Dave Reiss, who finished 14th in 2010-2011.

RUDU will be joining the rest of APDA at the Princeton University tournament this weekend, just down Route 1 from Rutgers. RUDU will be sending several teams in the hopes of adding to the five currently qualified debaters to attend Nationals, as well as improving on the sixth place standing the school has this year. Elections for the league’s Board will also be held.

Just before Princeton, RUDU will be conducting its biggest public debate of the semester, on whether Condoleezza Rice should be the 2014 Commencement Speaker at Rutgers. Well over 100 people are already slated to attend the debate, which will be held before the meeting of the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), to be followed by a RUSA vote on the resolution as debated. Arbi Llaveshi, Rachel Moon, and Sean Leonard will be speaking for the resolution and Daimler Vadlamuri, Russell Potter, and Deepta Janardhan will be speaking against. The speakers will not necessarily be representing their own views on the topic, as is typical in debate.