Debaters earn national tournament bids

Albert Chu '21 and Kilin Tang '21 will lead the Exeter Forensics Debate Team into three competitions starting this month.

April 6, 2021

Exonians flexed their Harkness skills throughout winter term to earn spots in three upcoming national debate competitions.

Staking and supporting positions on issues such as the efficacy of a U.S. Space Force or the pros and cons of the International Monetary Fund, members of the Exeter Forensics Team qualified for the National Speech & Debate Tournament in July as well as the NSDA’s Tournament of Champions and the National Catholic Forensics League’s Grand Nationals.

Seniors Albert Chu and Kilin Tang are the club heads. Chu and Tang, along with Shrayes Upadhyayula '22, Aaron Joy ’23 and Sachin Shetty ’23, each qualified for the nationals in July. The tournament is the largest high school competition in the world with more than 6,000 competitors.

Chu will be representing Exeter in the nationals for the third time. He and Upadhyayula and the team of Tang-Joy each gained places in the public-forum debate division. Both partnerships also will compete in the Tournament of Champions this month.

Shetty earned his spot at nationals by delivering a speech titled "The Power of Music” in the district tournament to win the original oratory division.

Additionally, a collaborative effort of all of PEA's competitors in the districts — including the contributions of partners Matt Dame '23/Tina Li '23 and Achyuta Rajaram '24/Kevin Treehan '24 in public forum and Anya Tang '22 in Lincoln Douglas — won PEA the District Debate Sweepstakes Award.