Interested in competitive collegiate speech and debate? Learn about our successful program, in which we have made champions out of competitors with no prior experience and further honed the skills of those who participated in high school. You can also debate for course credit through Binghamton, even if you attend a different university.
Binghamton Speech & Debate Team prepares to host CEDA Nationals 2016. The opening ceremony will take place at the Doubletree hotel on March 25th. Competition will be based out of the Fine Arts building on campus from March 26 - 28th. Come back during the tournament for live streams that will be posted here for you to watch great debates from home.
After an amazing start to the season, which included a quarter-finals appearance at UMKC and a finals appearance in novice at Rutgers, Dhruv Sehgal & Jason Smith won their pod at the Weber State Round Robin. This impressive feat was accomplished despite the fact that this was Binghamton's first invitation to a varsity round robin tournament in this history of the organization. Making it to finals at a round robin is no easy task since, unlike regular tournaments, competitors compete against a small hand-selected pool of the best competitors from around the nation.
After the conclusion of the round robin, Weber State hosted their open invitation where Dhruv and Jason advance to quarter-finals. This represents the second national tournament in a row where Binghamton has made an appearance in quarter-finals. Team members Lenny Herrera and Jesus Cepin also qualified in elimination rounds and advanced to octo-finals. Overall it makes for one of Binghamton's best nationally showings from the start of the season.
(Dhruv Sehgal, Jason Smith, Jeffery Yan, Jackie Schulze, Jesus Cepin, Lenny Herrera)
We are pleased to announce that a recording of the event featuring famous environmental activist and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder, Captain Paul Watson, which took place in Binghamton, New York, on May 10th, 2014, is now on this website! You can find both parts of the event here. Check out this once in a life-time debate today!
The Binghamton Speech and Debate Team has continued its success and brought it to new levels throughout the first half of the 2013-2014 season! Our current squad, consisting of both returning and new debaters, speakers, and coaches, has won tournaments, made elimination round appearances or placed in nearly every tournament we attended, and defeated several of the top competitors in the nation.
During the final 10 days of summer, the debate team assembled in the Quality Inn to prepare for the upcoming season. Our dedicated team worked from 9 AM to 8 PM every day to have discussions, read books, cut cards, assemble files, and have practice debates. Focusing our energy on what we have historically been the best at, the coaching staff taught us new ways of implementing and theorizing the Kritik. It is at pre-season where we were first coached by the legendary William Shanahan, who taught us much about philosopher Giorgio Agamben, among many other things. This is not to say that we didn't get plenty of topic specific education; returning coach Robert Glass did an extensive analysis of the history of war powers in the West, from The Treaty of Westphalia to the seemingly never-ending "War on Terror". All the while, Joe Leeson-Schatz continued his strong history of leadership by both contributing to all of these discussions and making sure we used our time efficiently without even needing a pre-determined schedule (It's less authoritarian that way).
Oh, and don't forget the speed drills! The joy of cacophony early in the morning of day one.
Northeast Regional Opener
The team hosted the regional opener here at Binghamton, bringing in 148 policy debate competitors and many others in Worlds. In order to help meet the judging demands, varsity team members Maneo Choudhury, Daniel Friedman, Philip George, and Trevor Reddick dropped out of the Open division to judge Novice and JV. Brandon Evans & Dhruv Sehgal, and Raul Jesus Cepin & Anna Pinchuk cleared in the Open division, but did not compete in elimination rounds as they agreed not to before the tournament to help run the event on Day 3. Raul also received 3rd speaker. In Novice, Skylar Buono and Jesse Smith won the tournament! Jesse also received 1st speaker by nearly three whole points! Jesse is now ranked the highest Novice speaker in the country.
Binghamton and Cornell preparing for Novice finals, representing the first all Bearcat coaching staff squaring up against each other in finals. Binghamton ended up victorious.
Brandon Evans and Maneo Choudhury posing with their speaker awards.
Coach Robert Glass and four debaters travelled to compete in the Open division of The University of Rochester Brad Smith Debate Tournament the week after the opener.
After two long days of debate, Maneo Choudhury and Brandon Evans ended in semi-finals on a 2-1 decision for NYU.
Brandon also received 3rd speaker, and Maneo received 6th speaker.
Raul Jesus Cepin and Anna Pinchuk holding their double-octofinals trophy.
In a Binghamton first, we made it to the elimination rounds of the Kentucky College Tournament, an event bringing in 148 teams containing the best in the nation!
Raul Jesus Cepin and Anna Pinchuk won 5 out of their 8 rounds, defeating fellow double-octofinalist Fresno HT in their break round.
They finished their amazing performance against 8th seed Oklahoma CL in double-octofinals, dropping on a highly respectable 4-1.
Raul also received 18th speaker, placing above 278 competitors.
JMU / GMU
From left to right: Adam Brenner, Faseeh Ahmed, David Kane, Itka Safir, Jared Skwiersky.
The speech portion of our team made their debut at a two-part tournament occuring at both James Madison University and George Mason University.
The team expanded their usual repertoire of Extemp, Impromptu, and Informative / Persuasive Speaking, to branch off into the world of events including Prose and Dramtic Interpretation.
While at the tournament, they were assisted by David Kane, a Binghamton Speech Team alumni who frequently judges and coaches at speech tournaments near where he lives to help support the team.
Benjamin Lesnewski and Joseph Warren winning their double-octofinal round.
Returning to D8, the Bearcats make an admirable show at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
In the Open Division, Trevor Reddick and Dhruv Sehgal make it to semi-finals, dropping to Vermont BB after walking over Maneo Choudhury and Brandon Evans in quarter-finals. Trevor Reddick received 1st speaker, Philip George received 7
speaker, and Raul Jesus Cepin received 8th speaker.
In Novice, Melody Ma and Jesse Smith make it to finals to drop to George Mason University on a 2-1. Jesse Smith also received 2nd speaker. In addition, Benjamin Lesnewski and Joseph Warren made it to and won their first elimination round against West Virginia.
Daniel Friedman and Philip George prep during day one.
Three teams travelled to Bill Shanahan's home state of Massachusetts to compete in the Harvard Debate Tournament.
In arguably the hardest tournament of the semester, Dhruv Sehgal & Trevor Reddick won three rounds, and both Daniel Friedman & Philip George and Maneo Choudhury & Brandon Evans won two.
While the varsity squad took a break between Harvard and Wake, Robert Glass and two teams went to compete in the Clarion University Autumn Debate Tournament in JV. Competing in a tough bracket, Skylar Buono and Jesse Smith went 3-3, even though they are both novices!
From left to right: Masakazu Kurihara, Jason Smith, Skylar Buono, Jesse Smith.
The speech team assembled again at Seton Hall University to end up winning several awards. Jacob Dorfman was ranked 6th in Persuasive Speaking, 6th in Sales Impromptu, and 7th in Extemporaneous Speaking, while Jared Skwiersky placed 5th in Impromptu.
Jared Skwiersky and Jacob Dorfman holding a few of their many awards from the tournament.
Trevor dresses in drag in inspiration of Jasbin Puar's "Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times".
Finishing our national travel for the semester, we qualified and sent three teams to the 2013 Franklin R. Shirley Classic At Wake Forest.
Trevor Reddick and Dhruv Sehgal returned strong, going 4-4. New partnerships Maneo Choudhury & Anna Pinchuk and Brandon Evans & Philip George both won three rounds.
Every partnership leaves with a trophy!
We had an amazing showing in all divisions at the Jersey Shore Invitational at Monmouth University.
Trevor Reddick and Dhruv Sehgal won the Open division on a 3-0 against the United States Military Academy after walking over Daniel Friedman and Philip George in semi-finals. We took almost half of the speaker awards: Trevor was 2nd, Dhruv was 5th, Dan was 7th, and Brandon Evans was 10th.
In JV, Benjamin Lesnewski and Jesse Smith went 3-3, even though both are novices and this was Ben's third tournament ever! Masakazu Kurihara and Jason Smith made it to quarter-finals, dropping on a 2-1 to CUNY. Jason was 4th speaker and Jesse was 6th.
In Novice, Melody Ma made it to quarter-finals in her third tournament ever, swing debating Thomas Schmidt from Wilkes. After receiving 3rd speaker and defeating NYU on a 2-1, the hybrid dropped on a 2-1 against West Virginia. This marked the end of Melody's first and last semester as a policy debater, but now that she has graduated, she hopes to come back and judge!
Raul Jesus Cepin and Lenny Herrera preparing for their final round of the swings against Pepperdine, which they ended up winning.
The first of the two California swings, a tournament at the University of Southern California, was the debut of Binghamton CH, consisting of Raul Jesus Cepin and Lenny Herrera (formerly of Towson). They started their partnership off strong, going 4-2 at a national tournament, but sadly not clearing on speaker points.
In addition, both Trevor Reddick & Dhruv Sehgal, and Brittney Bleyle & Brandon Evans went 3-3, the latter of which defeated the top partnership from Emory (JS) who at the time was ranked 18th in the nation!
The team continued its success in the second swing. Raul Jesus Cepin & Lenny Herrera, Brittney Bleyle & Brandon Evans, and Trevor Reddick & Dhruv Sehgal all won three rounds. None of our other three teams left without a win, including Jason Smith and Jesse Smith, a new partnership, the former of which only competed in regional JV tournaments prior, and the latter of which is novice eligible.
In addition, after the conclusion of their successful swing together, Brittney Bleyle and Brandon Evans got engaged! This marks the first time two Binghamton debaters have gotten engaged during a debate tournament. The team wishes them the best of luck in life and can't wait for the wedding.
A totally not staged photo of the proposal.
Our team is determined to finish our season strong, aiming to send between one and three teams to the National Debate Tournament. None of this could be possible without our supporters who have consistently donated to us year after year, especially our alumni. As you may know, our budget is much smaller than many other teams in our region. One of our rivals spends over ten times more on travel than our entire budget.
As such, we ask that you make a Donation to our team. Any amount of support can be the difference between new hights of success nationally and cutting whole tournaments. Our coaching staff is already accepting as little pay as possible to ensure that we can continue to devote resources towards both our Varsity squad and lower divisions. Please make your contribution today. Also make sure to Like Us On Facebook and show your Bearcat Pride!
After a month of re-structuring, the new Binghamton Speech & Debate Website is here! We have a plethora of new features and content to offer to the debate community:
We now have a Videos section containing lectures and live policy debates. With Scott Odekirk's permission, I have recovered most of the videos from the now defunct puttingthekindebate.com blog and ported them to this section. More content will be produced and distributed as the year continues.
The Speed Drill Tools have been expanded upon. In addition to the implementing a font for the read text that looks like Verbatim underlining, I added an option to highlight a percentage of the text randomly. This can allow for new kinds of speed drills that were impractical previously, especially when permuted with the other options (List the words backwards, show every other word, and put a word between every other word).
I have created a web-based and lightweight Speech Timekeeper that allows you to time speeches and keep track of prep time without any download or installation whatsoever. It can be used both on the web-page and in a stand-alone pop-up window. It is highly modelled off of Debate Synergy Timer 1.5, which is the one that is typically included with Verbatim installations.
Among other information about our organization, we have added details on how to participate in our Online Interlinked Curriculum. This program allows colleges and high schools around the world to provide an online debate course with interaction between each institution, potentially including an inter-class debate tournament at the conclusion. We are accepting applications for Spring 2013!
Our next phase will consist of creating the ability for debaters to challenge and set up debates with their peers on the fly. These "Call-Out Debates" will support both the classic, five speech format we used for our 1st Annual Online Debate Tournament, in addition to policy debate and individual events. You can expect this feature to be available somewhere in the middle of the fall season. Of course, we have many plans for hosting future tournaments on this system, but will save the details until they are finalized.
Executive Vice President and Technical Administrator of Binghamton Speech & Debate
Binghamton University's 1st Annual Online Debate Tournament is now officially over. 40 different institutions participated between judges and debaters with 100 different competitors. There was nearly a 50 / 50 aff / neg win percentage and some really amazing debates that are worth watching!
Also, a huge thank you to everyone who participated, judged last minute rounds (like Will Scott and Shree Awsare among others), and of course Brandon Evans for all his hard work programming the online platform and troubleshooting issues as they arose. Amazing that an undergrad with a full course load and a competitive policy debate schedule could accomplish so much in a single semester.
I am pleased to announce that the first round of Binghamton University's 1st Annual Online Tournament has begun fairly successfully, with roughly 3/4ths of our 100 matches meeting the deadlines. While the round progressed, we have received feedback that it would be more fair to the people living on the West Coast, who make up a significant portion of our competitors, that we set the deadline to midnight PST (3:00 AM EST the following day). As this can only help those living in other timezones of the U.S, we have decided to take that suggestion.
As such, everyone must post their opposition video by 2:59 EST tonight in order to avoid forfeiting. After 1:00PM EST, check if your opposition match has a video posted. If it does not, we will shortly forfeit your opponent. Otherwise, even if you did not see their video previously, you need to post your opposition video by the deadline.
1) Eric Larson for President Hes been the best SA Financial Vice President(FVP) weve ever dealt with since 2001. Sad hes not going to stay as FVP but were sure hell be a great President. Hes the most hard-working and knowledgeable candidate out there and were looking forward to seeing great things happen with the SA next year!
2) Mark Ochweri for VP of Programming Hes the Northeast Novice Regional Champion and was on the team for a year. His time commitment decreased only so he can lay the groundwork to getting elected. Were sure he will also do a great job. He is the most passionate and enthusiastic person we know!
3) Jacob Dorfman for EVP Hes been the speech captain and the EVP of our club, created a spin-off SA organization so worlds can exist without trading off with the policy budget, and has been active since hes been a freshman. Hes great to work with!
4) Derrick Conyers for VP of Academic Affairs He is thus far the only student who has left debate that filled up his time productively in order to make the world and campus a better place. He is devoted to academics and would do a great job in this position!
We have just completed the final round of the RHET 354 Class Tournament between Anthony Mattis on the Proposition and Elizabeth Gellis on the Opposition. On a 7-5 decision, Elizabeth Gellis is the winner! Congratulations, everyone!
Today, the members of Binghamton University's RHET 354 class began Round 1 of their online debate tournament. In addition to being a fun and educational event, this tournament serves to demonstrate and test the system in preparation for Binghamton University's 1st Annual Online Debate Tournament, which begins in April.
The resolution for this tournament is "RESOLVED: Video games glorifying gun violence should be banned." As an avid gamer (See my Nintendo hat in the banner), I look forward to seeing these debates discuss the issues that arise from violent video games and the steps we should take to reduce the harms. Click here for the pairings and videos.
We are proud to announce that the 1st Annual Binghamton University Online Debate Tournament will be sponsored by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals! We hope to find additional sponsors to help us supplement our prize fund. If you are interested, please contact our director.
It has been an amazing Fall season for the Bearcats, finishing up the semester having exceeded expectations at every tournament so far this year!
At the 2012 Huber Debates at the University of Vermont, Binghamton had a strong showing in every division.
In the Novice division MO (Aishwarya Masrani & Mark Ochweri), KM (Xin Ke & John Maine), KK (Chi Ka Ko & Masakazu Kurihara), and CS (Derrick Conyers & Dhruv Sehgal) all reached the quarterfinals round. Two teams, KK and KM, continued onto semifinals where both faced teams from the United States Military Academy. Army went on to close out the final round of the novice division.
In the Open division, CP (Maneo Choudhury & Anna Pinchuk) and GR (Philip George & Trevor Reddick) held strong during the preliminary rounds and both made appearances in final rounds. In the JV Breakout finals, CP faced the top team from the New School, which the New School won on a 2-1 decision. In the Varsity elimination rounds, GR advanced to the final round where they faced the top team from Cornell University. Cornell emerged victorious on a 2-1 decision.
The next weekend, CP and GR competed at the Franklin R. Shirley Classic at Wake Forest University. This is one of the most competitive policy debate tournaments of the year, matched only by championships like the National Debate Tournament and CEDA Nationals. The tournament limits entries to the top two teams from each school, making exception only for third and fourth teams which can prove themselves to be just as good as the best. This makes it one of the toughest pools to be debating in. Binghamton faced several tough opponents including Michigan State HR (currently ranked the 10th best partnership in the nation), University of Oklahoma CL (currently ranked 22nd in the nation), amongst other nationally recognized teams.
Last weekend, Binghamtons JV and Novice debaters competed at the Rutgers-Newark Debate Tournament. In the Novice division, MS (Aishwarya Masrani & Dhruv Sehgal) and RY (Sonya Robinson & Phillip Yuen) both had four wins and two losses in preliminary rounds, making it to Octofinals. In JV, EF (Brandon Evans & Daniel Friedman) managed to tear through a Liberty-dominated pool to make it to Semifinals where they faced Liberty CW. The tight debated ended in a 2-1 decision for Liberty University.
Northeast Fall Championship @ BU
Binghamton University will be hosting the Northeast Fall Championship 2012, the first tournament of its kind, on December 1st and December 2nd. This tournament marks the official end of the Fall debate season. The tournament will consist of Open, JV, and Novice divisions.
For this tournament, members of the Binghamton debate squad will not be able to proceed to elimination rounds. Only the Binghamton students who are taking one of the debate classes (Rhet 247 and/or Rhet 354) and competing for extra credit will be able to advance to elims. For this reason, the squad members will all be debating up one level: the Novice debaters will compete in the JV division; the JV debaters will compete in the Open division; the Varsity debaters will sit this one out.
Registration for the tournament is open right now, as we wait for all schools to register. Currently Rutgers-Newark University, New York Univeristy, CUNY, and Western Connecticut State University are entered.
Spring 2013 Season
With the Fall semester coming to an end, the Bearcats are already looking ahead to the Spring season. In January, the squad will be traveling to Los Angeles for the annual Cal Swing two back-to-back national tournaments in the Golden State.
It was a great first semester of debate for the Binghamton Bearcats: Now its time to prep for the coast!
((Edit, 7pm: Photos have been added to this post. ))
The Binghamton Debate team started of its season with its annual preseason camp where new debaters learn the basics of debate. During the past two weeks they learned how to make speeches, articulate complex arguments, and how to be efficient researchers. Returning debaters enhanced their skills, worked on their weaknesses, and were allowed to take the lead on this years topic which is energy production. These two weeks were a great since it allowed the team to bond as well as to prepare for the upcoming season. Everyone left ready and motivated to reclaim the tile of number one debate team in the nation.
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