Whitman Forensics Newsletter

Vol. 14, No. 2, May 2008

 

 

 

Luke Sanford made it to quarterfinals at CEDA Nationals. Nate Cohn made it to octafinals at CEDA National and to doubles at the NDT.

 

Policy Teams come alive at the end of the Year!

The Policy teams had a tough second semester beginning with a rough start at the Cal Swing and Berkeley tournaments. Senior Eric Chalfant was not able to attend, and three of our teams missed breaking on speaker points at the USC tournament. The entire team went 3-3 at Berkeley which, while certainly not bad, was disappointing. The team went into a funk. Hunter seemed to empty out in the cold, dark winter of Walla Walla.

Things didn’t improve much at the Texas tournament. Eric was back in action but he and Mike went 5-3 and missed on points; our two other teams went 4-4. Again, a respectable performance but not where we wanted to be. Hunter remained, for the most part, empty, lifeless.

Then, with Northwest CEDA Championships approaching, the team got the fire back. Hunter came alive. The prep rooms were as busy as ever, and everyone

 

put forward a great effort. And, the results started pouring in. At Northwest CEDA Champs, four teams advanced. Senior Eric Chalfant took the coveted Becky Galentine top speaker award, and with senior partner Mike Meredith, placed second. Sophomore Nate Cohn and Frosh Daniel Straus and Juniors Sam Allen and Luke Sanford were in Semis. Frosh Jonathan Dentler and Sophomore Robby White (WWCC) were in partial octas.

Then Nate and Daniel brought the house down at the Frosh-Sophomore National Championship, going 7-0 and advancing to semi-finals. Nate was the top speaker.

The team at the NDT: Mike, Jim, Ross, Aaron, Daniel, Nate, Eric, and Ben.

 

The great results didn’t stop. With six teams attending CEDA nationals in Wichita, and despite the cold weather in Kansas, we came up with the best result of the season – five teams reaching elimination rounds, including an Octas (Nate and Daniel) and Quarters (Luke and Sam) appearance plus Jonathan and Robby in Triples and Nick and Spencer and Eric and Mike in Doubles. Whitman did better than any other school in the nation.

 

It set a great tone for the NDT, which was held at Fullerton where, fortunately, it was a little warmer. The tournament is always long and arduous, but both teams in attendance, Eric and Mike and Nate and Daniel, fought hard. Eric and Mike had a 31st place showing and Nate and Daniel had a rematch of last year’s elim round against the Mapes from Missouri State.  While the whole team was hoping for history to repeat itself, we lost on a 3-2, which took longer than any other decision at the tournament. Despite losing, all the judges said that Whitman debated fantastic, and the whole team could feel proud of a fine end to the season.

Allison Ikeda

 

 

 

 

Nigel reacts with frustration at the delays from the NPDA Protests.

Debate Costumes

About two weeks before the Whitman Classic tournament, some competitors from around the Northwest approached Rob with an idea for the tournament party. They wanted it to be a themed function: an impact party. Each attendee was required to dress as their favorite debate impact. Being the open-minded coaches that they are, Rob and Jim consented. Competitors arrived as impacts as diverse as nuclear war, grey goo, and US hegemony. The idea behind the theme was that debaters are constantly talking about these serious problems, why not wear them! Perhaps unconventional but definitely fitting and fitting only for the debate community, the party was well liked and actually sparked some good discussion.

 

 

NPDA Nationals Sparks Protests!

This year, the NPDA national tournament was held in Colorado Springs, Colorado on the campus of the United States Air Force Academy. Overall, our teams did well, with Dave Mathews advancing to triples, but the tournament bordered on a debacle with rounds running hours and hours behind schedule. Here’s what happened: the tab room decided that teams would have exactly 25 minutes to prepare their arguments, but unlike previous years, if a team was even 30 seconds late they were forced to forfeit. This new rule, meant to save time, resulted in a three hour delay on Saturday. Teams that were forced to forfeit on Saturday appealed, forcing the tournament administrators into long discussions about their situations thus delaying the tournament even though no one won those appeals. Then, on Sunday, a two hour delay occurred because a team reported a sexual harassment claim against a team that read a case about sexual liberation. Fortunately, none of our teams including Dave, Amy Soderquist and Annie Hickman, Joel Wilson and Chris Fleming, and Nigel Leslie-Ramoz-Leslie and Maile Zeng were involved in any of the challenges!

 

 


 

 

 

 

    

Jim Hanson  Aaron Hardy 

 

  Ross Richendrfer

     

Rob Olsen            Nav Aujla and

                             Christine Simbolon

 

Staff: Jim Hanson, Director of Forensics, Aaron Hardy, Policy Coach; Rob Olsen, Parliamentary and I.E. Coach; Ross Richendrfer, Assistant Policy Coach; Christine Simbolon and Navdeep Aujla, Student Assistants; Bob Withycombe, Professor, Rhetoric and Film Studies; Lori Bettison-Varga, Provost and Dean of Faculty, Chuck Cleveland, Dean of Students; and George Bridges, President, Whitman College.

 

43 Competitors, Fall 2007-Spring 2008: Allison Ikeda, Amy Soderquist, Annie Hickman, Cat Valverde, Chris Fleming, Chris Fryefield, Daniel Straus, Dave Mathews, Eric Chalfant, Gary Wang, Jeff Wilson, Joel Wilson, Jon Handwerk, Jonathan Dentler, Kristen Coverdale, Lawrence Grandpre, Lewis Silver, Luke Sanford, Maile Zeng, Mike Meredith, Nate Cohn, Nick Griffin, Nigel Ramoz-Leslie, Roman Goerss, Ryan Lum, Sam Allen, Sarah Golden, Spencer Janyk, with Robby White (WWCC) plus Alexander Higgins, Christopher Huong, Gary Yuman Wang, Kyle Cotler Lauren Guest, Luke Hagel, Matthew Bingham, Matthew Duncan, Maryn Juergens, Natalie Popovich, Roman Goerss, Russell Caditz-Peck, Sarah Deming.

 

 

IM DEBATES

Jim now runs the Intramural Debates, in its 14th year since being resurrected back in 1994.

The students at the Championship tournament debated the resolution consuming political hacks across the country (well, at that time it was): Should Hillary Clinton or should Barack Obama be the Democratic nominee? A new format brought in even more competitors. In the experienced division, former team members Gary Wang took first place while Sally Sorte took second. Sam Hennessey and David Ogle were in semis. In inexperienced, Eli Asche from Jim’s 110 class defeated future team member Harry Hixon in finals. Jackson Cahn and Liz Sher were in semis. Kyle Cotler, Matt Duncan, and Kyl Wellman were in partial quarters. Vanessa Cox, Aisha Fukushima, and Aubrey Gallagos were in partial octas. Everyone won cash prizes and ate pizza that was, unfortunately, arrived very late in a major delivery snafu.

 

 

Senior and Coach Loss

  • We lose seniors Eric Chalfant, Maile Zeng, Chris Fryefield, Mike Meredith, and Annie Hickman.
  • We lose Rob Olsen and Ross Richendrfer as coaches.

   But returning . . .

  • Eric returns next year as Assistant Policy Coach.
  • Mike returns next year as Parliamentary Debate-Individual Events Coach.
  • Jim, Aaron, Christine, and Nav are continuing.

 

 

    

Seniors graduating: Mike, and Annie.

 

         

Seniors graduating: Eric, Maile, Chris,

 

Eric Chalfant’s Eye

Most competitive activities carry some risk of physical injury to the participants. We’re all accustomed to hearing about college athletes needing to sit out a game or two from a sprained ankle or bruised rib.  Debate, however, isn’t usually thought to carry much in the way of injury potential. Unfortunately, that was proven wrong when senior Eric Chalfant, who had been seeing scatterings of black dots in one of his eyes and had been to two doctors, lost sight in his eye when he returned home at the end of the fall semester. When he went to doctors on the west side, they realized he had a tumor in his eye and he had to go in for eye surgery.

It remains unclear whether his eye tumor was the result of marathon card-cutting sessions, endless drills reading late into the night, or those ridiculous 5 hour energy drinks that Eric had tried early in the first semester but it’s certainly possible. J  Either way, Eric was not able to attend the Cal Swing during the winter break and the whole team missed him in Los Angeles.  His partner Mike Meredith wasn’t slowed down, however. He competed maverick at both USC and Fullerton, and would have reached the elimination rounds if not disqualified from competing in out-rounds by tournament rules. Eric returned for the Berkeley tournament with a very red eye and blurry vision but the team was very happy to see him and apparently so were the judges as he won a speaker award.

 

Mike and Eric at NW CEDA Champs.

 

Hardy Rips into the Team

This year, the policy team is graduating two seniors – Eric Chalfant and Mike Meredith. In keeping with tradition, that meant a large amount of friendly ribbing as their careers came to a close. In particular, Eric and Mike were treated to a full-bore roasting at Northwest CEDA champs by Aaron Hardy. While not as long as some apocryphal roasts in years past, it was agreed by all involved that the roasts were...epic (translation, Aaron concocted some of the most vile and hilarious commentary about these two you can imagine). With so much material to choose from, it’s not a surprise.

Another time-honored opportunity to make fun of people is the yearly team awards” at the end of year party. This time, not just seniors had to suffer.  Even though Hardy was out of town for the party, he sent in the team awards by video to play for the whole party.  Everyone had to take a little indignity – although everyone is still wondering what Luke’s award was, delivered entirely in Chinese.

 


 

 

 

Frosh wins Dovell-Gose Contest

 

 

Joel, 1st           Nate, 2nd      

 

 

  Sally, 5th

 

The annual Dovell-Gose oratory contest, established in 1918, saw another upset this year. This time, first year Joel Wilson, who somewhat cockily preceded his speech with the claim “I’m going to win” proceeded to do just that. His speech on overly zealous drunk driving laws was convincing and intriguing to Jim, sole judge, and earned him first place. Jim thought Joel was a clear winner though he thought sophomore Nate Cohn’s speech on Southern re-re-construction was very humorous and well done and that Gary Wang’s speech on racially biased media coverage of the NBA, while getting off to a so-so start, built up to a well argued speech. Also winning awards were Dave Mathews (Body Modifications), Sally Sorte (Online Dating), Chris Fleming (Paintings challenging conventions), Annie Hickman (Blackface, Irony, and Race) and Amy Soderquist (Space Cults). Winners receive cash prizes.

 

NW CEDA Champs

Jim brought in teams from Kansas, Missouri, California, Wyoming, Idaho, and Connecticut. Plans are to expand the tournament further for 2009. Senior Eric Chalfant won the coveted Becky Galantine award for being top speaker. He and partner Mike Meredith placed second and Nate and Daniel and Sam and Luke were in semis; Jonathan and Robby were in partial-octas. Coaches enjoyed a great party at Bob’s house.

 

    

Jonathan           Daniel              

 

 

Sarah                  Nick    

 

     

Robby                   Amy

 

 

Party at Jim’s!

It is that time of year again, when the flowers are in bloom, when the school children are running the beer mile, and when the team gathers at Jim’s house to celebrate the end of another great year. The party was a success as always, with Jim back at the chef’s helm with his time tested recipes for ravioli, corn on the cob, ribs, and multiple desserts filling our stomachs. The food was great, but the entertainment surpassed everything. The party started slow, but eventually the board games took over; Pictionary was this year’s game of choice. Coach Rob Olsen along with seniors Eric Chalfant and Chris Fryefield took on, and lost to, the team of first years Chris Fleming and Nigel Leslie-Ramoz-Leslie and junior Sarah Golden. After the games, the team watched some television while enjoying Jim’s food. The night ended with individual awards from Rob and Aaron who presented via videos he made and sent from Texas.

 

    

Jim and Bob                                 Joel and Annie                    

 

 

 

 

Maile and Dave                                Annie and Jim at Knotts Berry

 

   

Alicia                                and Amy and Dave with Snoopy

 

Aunt Alicia

Even though the team was down one debater for a few weeks, the squad got an honorary member for the Cal Swing.  Alicia Hunt, a friend of the team, flew in from Michigan to help out for both tournaments.  Despite not being actively involved in college debate, Alicia was an enormous help, judging, coaching, tracking down intel, making sure everyone was fed and happy, and helping everyone cheer up when they lost a debate. She even brought a slightly risqué board game for New Years Eve. The whole team played, even though the rules didn’t make much sense – and everyone had a great time explaining the jokes to Jim and Dave Matthews. Alicia was also a big help on the day off between the USC and Fullerton tournaments. When most of the team went down to the beach near Fullerton, a few of the debaters decided it would be a good idea to swim in the ocean.  Alicia helped calm Jim’s nerves when he was certain Luke would drown, and then bought the whole team hot chocolate to prevent anyone from getting hypothermia when we got out of the freezing cold water.  Unfortunately, there was nothing she could do to prevent two large parking tickets for the vans when we forgot to pay at the lot entrance.

 

 

At the Whitman Classic:

 

    

Chris, Maile, Sarah                  The Candle Trophies

 

   

Nigel wtith the soup   Jon

 

 

 

 

Contributions to the Team

We are grateful for your contributions to the forensic team! Generous donors December 1, 2007 through May 15, 2008 include: Anjali S. Vats, Barbara and Rodney D. Orth, Beth Elyse Schueler, Brian Marshall Simmonds, Bridget Suzanne Kustin, C. Lawrence and Priscilla Lutcher, CDR Carolynn M. Snyder, David J. W. Hackett, Emily Ruth Cordo, Hildred and David H. Allard, James B. Hanson, Janice Sandra Berman, Jennifer Becker and Andrew Backlund, John Barto McEntire IV, Joshua Ian Penn Boris, Kathryn Ann Bergh, Louise C. and James L. Abbott, Meghan Ann Hughes, Microsoft Corporation, Nicole A. and Matthew P. Levin, Peter Benjamin Stiffler, PG&E Corporation Foundation, Robert C. Brinton, Robert M. Withycombe, Ryan James Hagemann, Samantha Gabriel Howell, Sara and Stephen C. Rowe, Stephen Craig Reed, Theodore Braden Blank V, William E. Abel. If we missed you, please tell us. We do appreciate your support!

Ross with alums Eric Suni and Ben Meiches. All three helped the team this year.

Send contributions for Debate to Annual Fund Office; Whitman College; Walla Walla WA 99362

Checks should be made out to Whitman College with a note that says to place the contribution into one of the Debate Team Funds (Salzman-Medica, Withycombe, Walker, or just say “For Debate”).

 

Nick, Spencer, Annie, Amy, Dave, Rob at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Long Beach

While it rained, snowed, and 70 mile per hour winds hit Whitman and the rest of Washington, the parli team was at the CSU Long Beach tournament, where Senior Annie Hickman and Sophomore Amy Soderquist debated with Sophomore David Mathews and First Year Nick Griffin. The tournament went well, but the post tournament fun at Knott’s Berry Farm was quite a treat. While at the theme park, they tried every ride, from the monstrous roller coasters, to the more mundane and informative rides to fulfill Jim’s wishes. Some of the more adventurous rides included Xcelerator that goes 82mph in 2.3 seconds and the Supreme Scream that drops the rider straight down 254

vertical feet. Those thrill rides contrast with Jim’s Calico Mine Train Ride and the 30 minute long Native American storyteller in the Mystery Lodge. The trip was capped off with a delicious dinner and was a lot of fun.

 

Policy Awards

ALLISON IKEDA AND GARY WANG: Pepperdine, JV, 4-2.

ALLISON IKEDA AND NIGEL RAMOZ-LESLIE: WNPT, JV, SEMIS.

DANIEL STRAUS AND NATE COHN: USC 4-3, NW CEDA Champs, SEMIS, Frosh-Sophomore Nationals, SEMIS, CEDA Nationals, OCTAS, NDT, DOUBLES.

DAVE MATHEWS AND LEWIS SILVER: Pepperdine, 4-2; WNPT, QUARTERS.

ERIC CHALFANT AND MIKE MEREDITH: Gonzaga, QUARTERS; Kentucky, 5-3, Harvard, 5-3, Wake Forest, 5-3, USC 4-3 (Mike solo), NW CEDA Champs SECOND, CEDA Nationals DOUBLES, NDT 31ST.

JONATHAN DENTLER AND ROBBY WHITE (WWCC): Pepperdine, 4-2; WNPT, FIRST, NW CEDA Champs, OCTAS, CEDA Nationals, TRIPLES.

LUKE SANFORD AND DANIEL STRAUS: Gonzaga, OCTAS; Kentucky, 5-3; Pepperdine, 5-1.

LUKE SANFORD AND SAM ALLEN: USC 4-3, NW CEDA Champs, SEMIS, CEDA Nationals, QUARTERS.

NATE COHN AND SAM ALLEN: Gonzaga, OCTAS.

SPENCER JANYK AND NICK GRIFFIN: WNPT, FIRST, CEDA Nationals, DOUBLES.

 

Parli and IE Awards

AMY SODERQUIST, WWU, Jr Extemp, SEMIS, Lewis and Clark, Jr Extemp, SIXTH, Whitman Classic 2, Jr Extemp, FOURTH.

AMY SODERQUIST AND NICK GRIFFIN: Whitman Classic 2 JR FIRST.

ANNIE HICKMAN AND JOEL WILSON: Reed, DOUBLES.

CAT VALVERDE AND RYAN LUM: Reed, Novice, FIRST.

CAT VALVERDE, Lewis and Clark, Jr Extemp, FIFTH.

CHRIS FLEMING: WWU, Jr Impromptu, FIFTH, Whitman Classic 2, Jr Impromptu, FIRST.

CHRIS FLEMING AND JOEL WILSON: WWU JR, FIRST, Whitman Classic 2 JR, SEMIS.

CHRIS FRYEFIELD AND AMY SODERQUIST: Reed, QUARTERS.

CHRIS FRYEFIELD: Lewis and Clark, Sr Extemp, SECOND, Whitman Classic 2, Sr Extemp, SECOND.

DAVE MATHEWS: NPDA Nationals, TRIPLES.

JEFF WILSON AND CHRIS FLEMING: Reed, SEMIS.

JOEL WILSON, Lewis and Clark, Jr Impromptu, THIRD, Whitman Classic 2 Jr Impromptu, FOURTH.

JON HANDWERK AND SARAH GOLDEN: WWU JR, OCTAS.

KRISTEN COVERDALE AND JON HANDWERK: Lewis and Clark, SEMIS.

KRISTEN COVERDALE, Lewis and Clark, Novice Impromptu, SECOND.

MAILE ZENG, Lewis and Clark, Nov Extemp, THIRD, WWU, Nov Extemp, SECOND, Whitman Classic, Open Extemp, SIXTH.

NIGEL RAMOZ-LESLIE AND MAILE ZENG: Lewis and Clark, JR, QUARTERS, UPS JR, SECOND, WWU JR OCTAS, Whitman Classic 2 JR FIRST.

NIGEL RAMOZ-LESLIE, Lewis and Clark, Novice Impromptu, SIXTH, WWU, Novice Impromptu, FOURTH, Whitman Classic 2, Jr Impromptu SECOND.

ROMAN GOERSS AND SARAH GOLDEN: WHITMAN CLASSIC 2 JR, QUARTERS.

SARAH GOLDEN: Whitman Classic 2, Jr Exempt, SECOND.

RYAN LUM, Lewis and Clark, Novice Impromptu, FIFTH.

 

 

  

Roman               Chris                 Maile              

 

  

Thad and Ross       Chris              Amy and Sarah            

 

  

Lewis                Andrew