US Universities Debating Championship

Neither team from Hawai‘i advanced to elimination rounds at this year's United States Universities Debating Championship. After the seventh round of the tournament, Giraldine Duff and I were just speaker points shy of making the cut. With another round, perhaps we could have made up the difference, but them's the breaks.

It's hard not to be disappointed with a result like this, especially considering how hard Giraldine worked this semester. She is one of the most intelligent and tenacious people I know. Her work ethic is unparalleled and her patience with me impressive. As a debate partner, she brings out my best and tempers my excesses. Not advancing hurts, if only because we will not see her brilliance rewarded here.

Still, the semester was a success. We made a point through our three tournaments of sticking to our principles and not playing the game for the game's sake. We avoided disingenuous and specious arguments. We spoke truth and advocated for the indigenous people often marginalized or forgotten entirely in debate, and we changed some minds about what debaters from Hawai‘i are capable of.

Our goal was to further pave the way for our society, and we've done so. Runners up at both the Pan Pacific and Pan American Debating Championships. A few speaker awards. A respectable finish here at nationals for us and for our novice team: Jacques Brunvil and Kenneth Go. And this is, hopefully, just the beginning.

Thanks to our coaches Jonathan Cham, Cody Hensarling, Daniel Anthony Hugo and Justin Bongco. Thanks to the SAPFB for partially funding our trip. And thanks to all those who offered kind words. It is an honor to represent a community as rich and supportive as ours. Now, back home to host our Warrior Intramural Tournament on Saturday!