Parliamentary Debate Team

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Parliamentary Debate Team
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Founded: early 1980s
Recognition: ABC
Membership: ~45
Executive Board: President; Treasurer; VP Campus Affairs, Public Affairs, and Team Affairs; Secretary
Category: Debate
Contact: Columbia Debate E-Board

The Columbia Parliamentary Debate Team (or simply Parli Debate or Parli) is a fraterniteam that competes on the American Parliamentary Debate Association [1] circuit in a style known as American Parliamentary. This style involves no research (as opposed to policy debate, which requires both research and a deep seated sense of self loathing) and an emphasis on rhetoric, argumentation style, and creativity. Tournaments are held every weekend on Fridays and Saturdays by other member schools of APDA. Each year, the Columbia team hosts a college tournament and a high school tournament, the latter for which high school students travel to campus to compete in various forms of debate including Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum.

Powerful and well-respected in the '90s, having won two National Championships ('93, '99) and placed three consecutive Teams of the Year ('93-'95), the CU team experienced a period of decline starting in 2003, and underwent a very slow and bumpy recovery. Beginning in 2007, however, Columbia teams have routinely advanced to elimination rounds and finals at major tournaments, sent a team to the 2009 World Universities Debating Championships; and placed as quarterfinalists ('08) and octofinalists ('07, '09) at the APDA National Championships. CU debater Matt Scarola (CC '08) was elected Member-at-Large on the APDA Executive Board for 2007-2008 and served as an alumni Trustee from 2009-2010. Josh Morrison (CC '07) is serving as an alumni Trustee from 2011-2012. In 2009-2010, Columbia debater Reid Bagwell achieved 2nd Novice of the Year; he was elected Member-at-Large for 2011-2012.

Recently, Columbia has re-established member of the ABDA elite. The team was 2nd in the ABDA rankings in 2011-2012, and 9th in 2012-2013.


  • 2013-2014 Alexa "Party Time" Semonche, CC '14
  • 2012-2013 Katie "Tunisia4Eva" Bentivoglio, CC '13
  • 2011-2012 Denise "Trains Always Ran on Time" Yu, CC '12
  • 2010-2011 Rohan "DJ Brohan" Jotwani, CC '12
  • 2009-2010 Dhruv Vasishtha, CC '11
  • 2008-2009 David Yin, CC '09
  • 2007-2008 David Yin, CC '09
  • 2006-2007 Josh Morrison, CC '07
  • 2005-2006 Josh Morrison, CC '07
  • 2004-2005 Jon Blitzer, CC '07
  • 2003-2004 Todd Berzon, CC '05
  • 2002-2003 Evan Mayo-Wilson, CC '03
  • 2001-2002 Harry Layman, CC '02
  • 2000-2001 Daniel Lee, CC '01
  • 1999-2000 Jeff Williams, CC '02
  • 1998-1999 Jess Wendover, CC '99
  • 1997-1998 Matt Schwartz, CC '99
  • 1996-1997 Sanoj Stephen, CC '97


Email Parliamentary Debate to reach the current Executive Board.

External links