Pictured in photo, left to right: Kyle Dahlin, Jon Cham, Megan Wharton, Ryan Delaney, Samira Fatemi, Sterling Higa and Ian Ross.

Members of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Debate Team placed at the U.S. Universities Invitational WUDC “Worlds” debate tournament at Claremont McKenna College, the largest debate union in the country.

UH Mānoa sent three teams to compete in the tournament. Facing off against 56 teams from 18 major universities such as USC, UCLA and Cornell, the team of Samira Fatemi (engineering) and Jonathan Cham (political science) came in 11th place, just missing the semi-finals by a few speaker points. Mānoa team captain Kyle Dahlin (mathematics) and his partner, Ryan Delaney (communicology), finished in 17th place. The rookie team of Sterling Higa (communicology) and Ian Ross (economics), competing in their first intercollegiate tournament, finished at 36th place.

The team from UH Mānoa beat teams from Claremont, Hawaiʻi Pacific University, UCLA, Texas and Alaska.

UH Mānoa has competed at Oxford, Yale, Willamette, Istanbul, Botswana, and in numerous other tournaments. They run the largest inter-collegiate debate tournament in Hawaiʻi and will co-host the Pan Pacific Championship with HPU in February 2013.

“Financial support for the team is our biggest struggle,”said team Director Robert Boller of the Communicology Department. “We are currently seeking corporate sponsorship for the program from law firms and businesses in exchange for offering organizations interns or perhaps hosting workshops on speaking and persuasion.”

To read more about the debate team’s future schedule, read the UH Mānoa news release.

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