IU Debate Team Scores Big At Season Opener

The IU Debate team has achieved a major milestone. For the first time in program history IU had a team competing in the final round elimination debates at the season's opener held at Georgia State University in Atlanta. After eight debates over two days of competition, sophomore Jewish Studies major Harry Aaronson and senior SPEA student Bee Smale, defeated teams from Northwestern, Michigan, and Emory to qualify as the 23rd seed.

With a mixture of strategic thinking, preparation and rhetorical prowess the two have placed themselves well within elite status as one of the top teams in the nation. In their final competition of the tournament, Aaronson and Smale came up just short, losing a very close 2-1 decision to a team from Michigan State that is ranked among the top seven in the nation.

The Georgia State Tournament included over 150 teams, comprised of two person partnerships, from 40 universities. Schools in attendance included Big 10 teams from MSU, Minnesota, Michigan, and Northwestern, as well as Harvard, Cal-Berkeley and others.

“Qualifying to elimination debates at the season opener is a representation of the immense work ethic and rich intellectual abilities of IU’s undergraduate population,” said IU Debate coach Brian DeLong. 

The team will now prepare for the second major competition of the year at the University of Kentucky in two weeks. 

At all of this year’s competitions, the topic of discussion concerns climate change and whether the US should significantly increase restrictions on domestic emissions restrictions.  

The IU Debate team travelled 10 students to Atlanta to compete. Three freshmen debaters, Zach Novicoff, Cameron Dehmlow Dunne, and Akash Pulluru won their first debates as members of the team. Overall, IU outdebated students from Northwestern, Emory, Michigan, Georgia, Navy, Houston, Liberty, Samford, and Wayne State.  

For more information please feel free to reach out to our debaters. Their contact information and profiles, and other images of the debater are available here: https://hoosierdebate.indiana.edu/team-info/Team%20profiles/index.html