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'14-'15 Hart House IV
Seawolves compete at Hart House in Toronto 

Members of the Seawolf Debate Program traveled to the University of Toronto this past weekend (Oct 17-19) to compete in the Hart House Intervarsity Debating Tournament, the largest and most competitive regular-season debate tournament in Canada.  This year’s Hart House was attended by 100 teams representing universities across the US and Canada.

Three Seawolf Debate teams were entered into the competition where they debated motions considering whether all salaries should be made public, whether war journalists should be compelled to reveal their sources in trials involving suspected war criminals, and whether politicians should be assumed to be under oath when making any public statements thus being held criminally liable for perjury if they lie.

While all three teams represented UAA admirably the team of AJ Carver and Sarah Elton just missed the break to quarterfinals, finishing with the 10 points needed to break (out of 15 possible) but falling just short on the tie-breaker of team speaker points. The team of Johanna Richter (sophomore) and Sam Erickson (freshman) were right behind them finishing with 9 points and both teams finished the preliminary rounds of competition among the top-30% of all entered teams. This was the first ever collegiate tournament for Sam Erickson in what can only be considered a wonderful first effort at representing the Green and Gold, and making the team’s near miss to elimination rounds at such a highly competitive tournament all the more impressive.

The Seawolf Debaters will remain out east this weekend as they prepare for the North American Universities Debating Championship, hosted by Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. For more information, please contact Steve Johnson at 786-4391.

The team poses for a quick photo at the Hart House Banquet.

'14-'15 Yale IV
Seawolves shine at Yale

Members of the Seawolf Debate Program traveled to New Haven, CT this past weekend (Oct 3-5) to compete in the Yale Intervarsity Debating Tournament, the largest and most competitive regular-season debate tournament on the US circuit.  Attended by 148 teams representing universities across the US, Canada and England, the Yale IV is an early-season test that typically predicts the success of a squad for the upcoming World and US Universities Debating Championships.

The SDP traveled four students to the competition where they took on teams over motions considering whether forced relocation is a desirable solution to ethnic conflict and whether the charter school movement has had a positive effect on public education.  Both Seawolf teams assembled an impressive record in preliminary rounds: Matt Ostrander and Jonathon Taylor completed the 6 preliminary rounds with a record of 15 points (out of a possible 18) to enter the elimination rounds seeded fourth (behind only Cambridge, the University of Toronto and Harvard) while AJ Carver and Sarah Elton assembled a 13 point record to advance as the 16th seed.

Both teams were on the Proposition side in the quarterfinal round, assigned to defend a motion about whether the federal government should provide financial support to religious organizations that undertake social work in impoverished areas.  Despite making their best cases, both Seawolf teams had to content themselves with quarterfinal finishes, a showing that still had them in the top 10% of teams attending.

This is the first time that the Seawolves have advanced two teams to the elimination rounds of the Yale IV, and the first time they’ve done so at all since 2010.  The current generation of Seawolf Debaters obviously intends to make their own contribution to the SDP’s tradition of excellence.

The SDP is in Anchorage this weekend to host a tournament at Goldenview Middle School as part of their Middle School Public Debate initiative.  The team will return to competition in two weeks when they embark on a road trip to participate in both the Hart House IV at the University of Toronto and the North American Debating Championships to be hosted by Hobart and William Smith College of Geneva, NY.  For more information, please contact Steve Johnson at 786-4391.
'14-'15 Air Force Invitational

New school year- same high level of competitive success for Seawolf Debate.

This past weekend, UAA’s Seawolf Debate program traveled three teams to Colorado Springs to attend the annual tournament hosted by the United States Air Force Academy. At its first competition of the 2014-2015 school year, the Seawolf debaters showed few signs of early season rust as all three teams advanced to the elimination rounds, including two teams making it all the way to the final round.

The tournament began with 56 teams in attendance representing 17 institutions from across the United States, including teams from Louisiana, South Carolina, and Vermont. Topics ranged from contemporary global issues such as whether the World Health Organization ought to have the power to close borders to prevent the spread of highly infectious diseases to more futuristic considerations of the effect of increased automation in the workforce.

Following six preliminary rounds of competition all three UAA teams advanced to quarterfinals and were all seeded among the top-teams (2nd, 5th, and 7th respectively) at the competition. While the team of Bexley Brown and Johanna Richter dropped in a close quarterfinal round, the teams of Matthieu Ostrander and Jonathon Taylor, and Sarah Elton and AJ Carver successfully argued their way through quarterfinals and semifinals on their way to finals.

The final round turned into a showdown between UAA and perennial powerhouse Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles as each school advanced two teams. Following an incredibly close round on a topic evaluating the likely effectiveness of sanctions targeting Russia, UAA’s Elton and Carver captured second place, with Ostrander and Taylor finishing third. LMU’s top-team won the tournament.

While these Seawolf debaters just missed out on the championship, they demonstrated the incredible depth of talent within the program. Of the top twelve individual speakers (out of the 112 total speakers entered In the competition), six were from UAA.

While competitive success was achieved early this year, there is no time to relax as UAA prepares to travel teams to this weekend’s incredibly competitive Yale University tournament. For more information please contact Steve Johnson (786-4391) or John Schultz (786-4354).

Read more about the team on the Seawolf Debate blog.