Author Archive

ByEnTing Lee

Policy Qualifies for National Debate Tournament

This weekend, the Policy squad sent teams to the Northeast Regional and the Northeast Districts tournament, happening simultaneously at Binghamton University.

In the Districts tournament, the team of Gabriella Knight and David Rooney finished in 3rd place, qualifying them for the policy National Debate Tournament (NDT) in March and establishing them as one of the top 70 teams in the country! Both speakers also received speaker awards, with Gabby placing 2nd and David placing 10th.

In the Regional tournament, the teams of Daniel Yoon and Hunter Seitz, and Bobby Ma and Susie Song made it to JV semifinals! All four speakers picked up awards, with Susie placing 2nd, Hunter placing 3rd, Bobby placing 4th and Daniel placing 5th.

In the Novice division, Basia van Buren and Joshua Mensah made it all the way to finals, dropping only one ballot out of 12 on their way there. Joshua was also 2nd speaker, and Basia was 8th speaker.

Congratulations to our Policy squad!

ByEnTing Lee

Speech Succeeds at State Championship

Over the weekend, the Speech team traveled to Long Island to attend the NY/NJ State Championship, sweeping awards in almost every category, including 2nd in Overall Sweepstakes and 3rd in Individual Events!

In the Persuasive category, Shraddha Harshvardhan performed so well that she was selected as one of 2 representatives for the Interstate Oratorical Association Contest!

In IPDA debate, Leonardo Grageda reached the semifinals, ultimately coming in 3rd place! He also received the 3rd speaker award, and 3rd sweepstakes award.

In Extemporaneous Speaking, Jay Sirot placed 2nd, Corey Shapiro placed 3rd, Grace Taylor placed 5th and Julia Montejo placed 7th.

All four also participated in Impromptu Speaking, with Corey coming in 2nd, Julia 3rd, Grace 4th and Jay 5th. Corey, Julia and Grace also earned a qualification for the American Forensics Association (AFA) National Individual Events Tournament.

Last but definitely not least, in the Informative category, Stephanie Phen placed 3rd and Sam Han placed 4th. Serena Lotreck placed 2nd in After Dinner speaking, also earning a leg for AFA, and Brianna Mims placed 7th for Dramatic Interpretation.

Congratulations to our fantastic Speech team and their amazing performance!




ByEnTing Lee

Policy Travels to Gotham Scrimmage

Policy debaters Lauren Luciani and Nicholas Tilmes traveled to New York City last weekend to compete in the Open Division of the Gotham Scrimmage.

Nick and Lauren made it to Open Finals before being narrowly defeated by a team from NYU. Both received speaker awards, with Nick coming in 3rd and Lauren ranking 4th.

Congratulations to them!

ByEnTing Lee

Policy Dominates US Navy and Wichita State Tournaments

The Policy team attended two tournaments over winter break, and performed spectacularly at both.

At the US Navy Tournament, all 4 Cornell teams advanced to the elimination rounds! Gabriella Knight and David Rooney made it to the Varsity finals, losing narrowly to the University of Georgia on a 2-1 split decision. Our other Varsity team, Nicholas Tilmes and Tony Zhou, made it to the double-octofinals of the tournament.

Bobby Ma and Susie Song ended the tournament as Junior Varsity semifinalists, and were ranked 2nd and 3rd speakers in their division, while Joshua Mensah and Basia van Buren emerged as Novice quarterfinalists.

After their warm-up at Navy, the policy team absolutely dominated at the Wichita State tournament!

Gabriella Knight and David Rooney defeated all their opponents and emerged as the Varsity champions. Junior Varsity team Bobby Ma and Susie Song were also champions of their division. Novice team Basia van Buren and Joshua Mensah were similarly impressive, out-performing their division and breaking into Junior Varsity elim rounds.

We are very proud of our Policy team’s strong start to the semester, and wish them the best of luck in future tournaments!


ByEnTing Lee

Cornell Speaks at Inaugural Derrick Bell Debates

Congratulations to Beverly Balasu ’20 and Safwan Jalal ’17 for advancing to the semifinals of the inaugural Morehouse College Derrick Bell Debate tournament this past weekend in Atlanta, GA!

Held at and hosted by Morehouse College (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s alma mater), the debate focused on Dr. Derrick Bell’s notable theory of interest convergence applied to social justice movements and criminal justice reform. Students had the opportunity to interact with experts and leaders on this topic from around the Atlanta community.

Thank you to Professor Kenneth Newby, Debate Director at Morehouse College, and Paul Hayes, Director of Debate at GWDebate: The George Washington University Debate & Literary Society for this opportunity – Cornell Speech & Debate is honored to have been invited to what will be an important and invaluable forum for social justice issues in the future!

Congratulations to all the teams which participated in this tournament from Clark Atlanta University, George Washington University, Morehouse College, and Patrick Henry College!