Five Debaters Headed to World’s Largest Tournament

Debate Headed Overseas for Second Time in Successful Season


Five students from the college will compete at the World Universities Debating Championship (WUDC) from Dec. 27 to Jan. 4 at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. The college’s debaters will be attending the largest college debate tournament in the world after many months of successes at debate tournaments around the globe.

The Middleury Debate Society is run by President Amanda Werner ’21, Vice President Hadjara Gado ’21 and Captain Charlotte Massey ’19. 

The team will send two teams and a judge to South Africa this winter for WUDC: Massey, Werner, Nathan Obbard ’21 and Quinn Boyle ’21 as debaters and Van Barth ’21 as a judge.

“I am incredibly honored and grateful for the opportunity to represent Middlebury at Worlds this year, and I am excited to meet debaters from around the world who will challenge and broaden my current perspectives about different topics,” Werner said.

The organization has had many successes since last spring, when Warner and Gado won the novice championships for the North American Women’s Championships and Massey made the Grand Finals, becoming eighth speaker overall. Massey and Ceryn Schoel ’19.5 made semifinals at America’s Cup, while Nathan Obbard ’21 and Van Barth ’21 made novice finals at the George Washington University Championships. 

This fall, the Debate Society sent first years to compete at the McGill Central Novice Championships in Montreal, where they performed well overall and Massey was selected to judge. 

“I’m proud of the new debaters who performed well at the McGill tournament in Montreal back in September,” Barth said. “They really took a leap of faith and competed at a tournament only three weeks after arriving on campus.”

Two Middlebury teams came close to the quarterfinal rounds at the Hart House Inter-Varsity at the University of Toronto. And on Nov. 8 and 9, two teams competed at the Oxford IV, one of the most competitive and prestigious debate tournaments in the world, with both teams nearly making quarterfinals. Massey entered the Grand Finals at Oxford Women’s Championship, another challenging and prestigious tournament. 

From left to right: Alexandra Sundarsingh (from the University of Toronto,) Charlotte Massey, Hadjara Gado and Amanda Werner at the North American Women’s Championships.