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Cornell Speech and Debate

10 members of the Cornell speech team at an awards ceremony with their trophies

The Cornell Speech and Debate Program is the only university-sponsored debate organization at Cornell. We compete in Policy debate, Worlds (British Parliamentary) debate, Spanish-language Worlds debate and Individual Speech events. The organization is one of the largest of its kind in the United States, boasting over 100 members from diverse backgrounds.

Worlds Captain Meg Kandarpa Wins Leadership Award

Meg drinking from a watermelon
Meg drinking from a watermelon

Meg Kandarpa, captain of the Cornell Worlds Debate Team, was awarded the Steven Penner Award at the Hart House IV Tournament. She is the first undergraduate to ever receive the award, which honors major contributions to the debate community at the high school and collegiate levels. Meg leads the Worlds team as one of two captains, in addition to serving as a judge, competitor and tournament organizer for Cornell. But Meg’s influence extends far beyond the Cornell community. Meg runs an international debate group that organizes spars for students around the country, so that they can compete across borders and access high quality judging from remote locations. She has coordinated multiple tournaments, including NA Spar Open. Cornell Speech and Debate is proud to have Meg representing us in the broader community, and lucky to have her leadership.
"Meg is an amazing debater and person. She is very deserving of this recognition given all she does for the debate community," said Sam Nelson, Director of the Cornell Debate Program.