Pan Pacific Debate Championship to be held on campus for the first time

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Robert Boller, (808) 956-3324
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Posted: Feb 8, 2013

Spring 2013 Debate Team
Spring 2013 Debate Team
The debate programs at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) will co-host the 6th Annual Pan Pacific Debate Championship on the weekend of February 16-17, 2013.  The events will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days at the Shidler College of Business on the UH Mānoa campus. This is the first time UH Mānoa is hosting the tournament.  The public is welcome to attend. 

Several local students with ties to the Hawai‘i Speech League will be competing for UH Mānoa and HPU.  University debate teams from across the country are expected to participate, including Vermont, Loyola Marymount and Willamette.

UH Mānoa has competed internationally at Oxford, Yale, Willamette, Istanbul, Botswana and other tournaments.  The largest inter-collegiate debate tournament in Hawai‘i is held each semester on the Mānoa campus, drawing student debaters from UH Mānoa, HPU, and Leeward, Honolulu and Windward community colleges. 

In Fall 2012, the UH Mānoa team hosted members of the British National Debate Team, with the public debate at the state Capitol moderated by U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa.  The UH Mānoa team has also debated the morning anchors on the Hawai‘i News Now Sunrise show, been featured in Midweek magazine and the Ka Leo student newspaper, and hosted a debate about Social Security moderated by former Congressman Ed Case. 

Since 2008, more than 500 students have learned valuable communication skills through the UH Mānoa debate team, which is also a strong supporter of the Hawai‘i Speech League.  After the Pan Pacific Championship, next up for the UH Mānoa debate team are the 7th Annual Warrior Intra-Varsity Debate tournament on Saturday, March 16, and the U.S. Nationals at La Verne University in California in April.

For more information, contact Robert Boller at  Boller is an Assistant Professor, Director of Debate and Forensics, Department of Communicology, College of Arts and Humanities, at UH Mānoa.

See the College of Arts and Humanities homepage at

Photo caption: Members of the UH Mānoa student debate team, seated front row from left: Kyle Dahlin, Megan Wharton, Maile Belongie and Emily Murai.  Standing, from left: Josh Weldon, Kona De La Cruz, Jay-Me Morita, Jon Cham, Sam Merritt, Sterling Higa, Danielle Thomson, Dae Kim, Alvin Park and Jarrett Dempsey. Credit UH Mānoa photo.