28 March 2024 Spring Semester Success for HWS Debate

HWS Debate reached the finals at both the Novice National Debating Championship and Colgate Open Debate Championship.

Hudson Chou ’27 and Fairooj Suhita ’27 made waves at Novice Nationals and the Colgate Open Debate Championship, placing as tournament finalists in both competitions. Members of HWS Debate also had success as adjudicators.

Novice Nationals

Hudson Chou ’27 and Fairooj Suhita ’27 qualified to the final round of the Novice National Debating Championship held at Cornell University. The pair ranked above students competing from Princeton, Cornell, UPenn and McGill universities.

Chou and Suhita debated the motion, “This house opposes the expectation that institutions take stances on socially controversial issues.” While the ultimate winners were from Harvard, Chou and Suhita’s performance marks the second year in a row HWS qualified as finalists, with past students Lamia Nur Rahman ’26 and Sandeep Tissaaratchy ’26 winning the tournament in 2023.

Chou and Suhita are building on their success from the fall semester after the duo became semifinalists in the United States University Debate Championship held at HWS.

“I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful teammate Fairooj, and without the encouragement from Sandeep, Debate Director Daniel Schonning, and the rest of the club,” says Chou.

Tissaaratchy also had success at this year’s Championship, qualifying as an elimination round adjudicator for the tournament.

The Novice Nationals was held at Cornell University and is designed specifically for debaters who are within their first year of collegiate-level British Parliamentary debate.

Colgate Open

At the Colgate Open Debate Championship, Chou and Suhita once again qualified to the final rounds of the tournament, placing above teams from Columbia, University of Rochester and Middlebury.

Chou and Suhita were named third best novice speakers at the tournament and Suhita was named third best ESL speaker.

“In back-to-back weekends, Fairooj Suhita and Hudson Chou represented HWS admirably, advancing to the final round of both Novice Nationals and the Colgate IV,” says Director of HWS Debate Daniel Schonning ’16, who served as an adjudicator at the tournament. “Having placed in the top eight teams in the country this fall, these two achievements further highlight the pair’s hard work. That they are still both in their first year of collegiate debate spells great things for semesters yet to come.”

Kyle Mast ’24 and Tissaaratchy also qualified as open round qualifying judges. Linh Tranh ’24 was the Tabulation Committee Director.

Top: The HWS Debate team gathers for a photo while competing in the Novice National Tournament at Cornell University. Fairooj Suhita ’27 (front center) and Hudson Chou ’27 (front right) finished as finalists.