College of Arts and Sciences


  • Debate Team Has Strong Showing at World Championship

    January 6, 2009 - Jeff Philpott

    The Seattle University debate team, represented by seniors James Kilcup and Michael Imeson, had a very successful round of competition at the Worlds University Debating Championship in Cork, Ireland over the winter break. James and Michael finished the preliminary rounds in 7th place out of more than 300 teams entered in the competition, finishing ahead of every other team from North America, including teams from Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton. They ultimately lost to teams from Helsinki and New Zealand in the octo-final round. In addition, Michael also advanced to the individual finals in the Public Speaking competition, an event he won at the Worlds championship two years ago. The tournament was ultimately won by a team from Oxford University. Kudos to Michael, James, and team coach Ross Merritt on this impressive showing!

    The Worlds University Debating Championship is an elite, invitation-only, intercollegiate debate competition. It draws teams from all over the world and is the world's largest annual international student conference or competition. There was a total of 308 teams in this year’s tournament, representing 150 institutions from around the world, including American Ivy Leagues such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale; other elite US universities such as Stanford, Swarthmore, and Brandeis; top British institutions such as Oxford (the eventual winner of the tournament), Cambridge, The London School of Economics, as well other UK schools like St. Andrews, University College of Dublin, Trinity College, and the University of Limerick. Also in attendance were schools from Israel, Pakistan, Turkey, the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Croatia, Lithuania, Russia, Canada, and Australia, and many other countries.

    Next year's WUDC tournament will be hosted by Koc University in Turkey, and the following year will be in Botswana.

    The resolutions debated by the SU team during the competition included:

    • This house would ban all forms of gambling
    • This house would fire the senior managements of all corporations which receive government bailouts
    • This house would allow soldiers to sue their government for negligence
    • This house would force the religious desegregation of Northern Irish schools
    • This house believes that China and India should bear the same obligations as the West in fighting climate change
    • This house would criminalize adultery
    • This house would arm local militia to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan
    • This house would ban the publication of political opinion polls
    • This house would apply a lower rate of income tax to women
    • This house believes that the west should recognize the independence of Abkhazia


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