No Argument About It

Blackman '13 and Bores '13 representing ILR in world debate championships
Blackman '13 and Bores '13 representing ILR in world debate championships
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cornell students head for Berlin in late December to secure Big Red's standing as number one in the world of university debate.

Ranked first among 800 teams internationally on Nov. 19, the Cornell Forensics Society is hoping to cop the 2012 title at the season's finale – the 33rd World Universities Debating Championships Dec. 27- Jan 4.

Based at the ILR School for the past three years, the 100-student squad is sending three teams from five Cornell majors to compete in Germany:

  • Alex Bores ILR '13 and Daniel Blackman ILR '13, both majoring in Industrial and Labor Relations.
  • Ryan Yeh A&S '13, majoring in Economics and Psychology, and Kirat Singh A&S '14, majoring in Economics and Government.
  • Srinath Reddy, A&S '14, majoring in Mathematics, Economics and Government, and Julius Kairey A&S '15, majoring in Government.

They will be accompanied by two students serving as competition judges:

  • Paul Gross MILR 14
  • Christine Yu ILR '14

The debaters have copped wins and near wins in 2012 tournaments at the University of Toronto, Yale University, University of Vermont, University of Rochester and Hobart & William Smith Colleges.

Singh, the team's vice president of external affairs, said, the Cornell debate program is "particularly proud of the willingness of upperclassmen to invest their time in younger members of the team. They'll often help answer questions or host practice rounds for new members."

"Even during actual competitions, the dynamic continues; in between rounds, Cornell debaters are constantly checking up on each other, sharing arguments and providing encouragement," he said.

Yu, team vice president of internal affairs, said, "It is wonderful to see how the younger members take their cues from the older ones and perpetuate this culture of support and teamwork."

"We also have a huge freshman class that is exceptionally talented and competitive, which is a great incentive for the upperclassmen to continue to up their game," she said. Thirty debaters are first-year students.

More information about the current rankings is at