Rutgers University-Newark at The California Swings Hosted at Cal Berkeley


The Rutgers University-Newark Debate Team attended the tournament known as the “Cal Swings,” a two-part tournament usually hosted by two different schools in California. The tournament is for six rounds of preliminary competition, and a full set of elimination rounds, at each part. The California Swings were both hosted by the University of California-Berkeley. The California Swings is the opening tournament for the Spring 2016 semester, and as such it draws some of the most competitive and successful debate programs in the nation from schools such as Harvard University, Michigan State University, Emory University, Northwestern University, Cal Berkeley, Dartmouth University, and many more. Rutgers University-Newark’s contingency at the tournament included the team of Devane Murphy and Nicole Nave (Rutgers MN) and Kevon Haughton and Christian Quiroz (Rutgers HQ). Both teams went into Berkeley with a goal of accomplishing tremendous wins and a chance to grow and develop their argumentative knowledge.

The team of Nicole and Devane opened the semester at the first half of the swings with a winning record of 4 out of 6 preliminary debates, making it to the elimination rounds and becoming the 15th seed out of 97 teams overall. Nicole and Devane made it to the semifinals losing an extremely close debate to Cal Berkeley after beating 3 impressive teams all slotted in the top 25 of the nation: Emory, Michigan (ranked #1), and Georgetown. With Nicole receiving 16th Speaker and Devane  receiving 6th speaker, their dominance as a partnership was solidified. During the second portion of the Cal Swings, Nicole and Devane would again go 4-2 and make it to Octofinals after a surprising loss to Michigan State University after having beaten Northwestern in the previous elimination debate. Nicole also received 6th place speaker with Devane  placing as 28th speaker.

The team of Kevon and Christian, who successfully beat the top seed at the last major national tournament at Wake Forest University, had a rough start during the first half of the swings missing elimination rounds by one ballot. Winning 3 of their 6 debates and being ranked 37 out of 97 teams overall, Kevon and Christian rebound in the second swing, winning 4 of their 6 prelim debates during the second half of the swings and then also qualified for the elimination rounds. Kevon and Christian lost a hard fought debate against Trinity University in double-octofinal debates (top 32). They received multiple accolades and acknowledgement from the judges who evaluated that round and praised them for their skills.

The Rutgers University-Newark Debate Team has been a competitive powerhouse both regionally and nationally with multiple Rutgers teams clearing and competing in eliminations at every tournament attended. With a growing team and the support of both the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) and Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor’s Office, the debaters and staff have the initial goal of representing and establishing our city and university as a national syndicate with both academic and competitive drive and success. The RU-N Debate Team has started the year of 2016 at a high and will only accomplish more victories heading into the last tournaments of the 2015-2016 season. 

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