15 March 2024 HWS Debate Team to Host Round Robin During Eclipse

Coinciding with the total solar eclipse, Hobart and William Smith will host its largest and most competitive Round Robin debate tournament. 

Click here to learn more about HWS' Year of the Sun celebration and events.

Debaters from six continents and more than 20 countries will compete in a signature international Round Robin debate hosted by Hobart and William Smith from Saturday, April 6 to Monday, April 8. 

“The HWS Round Robin is composed of only those highest-performing debaters across the world,” says HWS Director of Debate Daniel Schonning. “It's a credit to the institution, then, that this year we are represented by three Hobart and William Smith debaters—two current students and one alumnus. They will be competing against teams from 20 countries and dozens of the world's most prestigious colleges and universities."

HWS will be represented by two teams. The first will be composed of Sandeep Tissaaratchy '26 and Lamia Nur Rahman '26, who earlier this year placed 17th in the world at the World Universities Debating Championship held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The second will be composed of a Canadian debater and Buzz Klinger ’12, who won the U.S. National Championships as a student.

The tournament includes former U.S. national champions, Canadian champions, European champions, Australian champions, African champions, South American champions, Asian champions and World Champions.

The HWS Round Robin follows the World Universities Debating Championship format, known as British Parliamentary (BP) style. In this format, two teams argue in favor of a given motion and two argue against the motion. Teams are only given 15 minutes to prepare their argument before the round begins, relying exclusively on their existing knowledge and flexibility in thinking. 

Debaters and judges participating in past Round Robins regularly hail from international debate powerhouse programs like Cambridge, Oxford, Melbourne, Stanford, Sydney, University College Dublin and Yale. The HWS Round Robin is the most highly competitive debate tournament in the world, second in prestige only to the World Championships.

The event will pause before the eclipse so debaters and attendees can watch the rare event.

Top: In Froelich Hall, teams from across the globe compete during a past Round Robin Debate tournament.