A small contingent of the Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) visited the first annual Brandeis Inter-Varsity this past weekend, an exhibition tournament in British Parliamentary (BP) style. While RUDU normally competes in American Parliamentary style, BP offers a four-team format with the opportunity to be more rhetorical. Rutgers alumnus David Reiss came back for this tournament to partner with senior Chris Bergman and the duo broke to semifinals, placing 7th overall team. Each of the two were in the top ten speakers.
Here are the official accomplishments:
Chris Bergman & David Reiss – 7th Team
Chris Bergman – 6th Speaker
David Reiss – 9th Speaker
Sean Leonard – 4th Novice Speaker
Bergman and Reiss were near the top of the tab for the entire first day of the six-round competition. They appeared in the top room of the tournament in the last two rounds, ultimately reaching a semifinal where they placed 3rd. The decision not to put them through to the final was a 3-2 margin, a very contentious decision in a format aimed at judging consensus.
Leonard and partner Alex Jubb finished on 10 points, just behind the 12 needed to break. BP assigns a 1-4 ranking to teams rather than wins and losses, offering 3 points for a 1st and 0 points for a 4th. The point total decides who breaks, followed by speaker scores.
BP is the format used at the World University Debating Championships (WUDC or Worlds), hosted at a different international university each year. RUDU has never fielded a team for Worlds in light of a focus on American Parliamentary style and the extreme cost of Worlds. However, this success bodes well for a possible increase in interest in Worlds style. The team would still need a sponsor or significant boost in funding to afford the international travel and high costs of the WUDC tournament.
As an exhibition, this tournament does not affect the rankings of the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA), whose semester ended last week at Vassar with a Rutgers tournament win. RUDU stands ranked 4th overall with the next tournament scheduled for early January.