History of the Roger Sherman Debate Society

The Roger Sherman Debate Society had its origins in an advanced political science course taught by the Debate Team’s founding coach and academic advisor, Christopher Kukk. Upon hearing a particularly effective class discussion, Dr. Kukk commented that the level of thought and discussion was superior to one he had taught while on the faculty at Harvard. As an aside, Dr. Kukk mentioned that this class would hold its own in any academic competition against Ivy League schools.

Much to Dr. Kukk’s surprise, members of the debate team took him up on this and asked him to be an advisor to a policy debate team. Using their own money to create a shoestring budget, members of the class including Tyler Balding, Mike Cohen, Chris Celona, Joshua Flores, and Steve Howland, among others, created WestConn’s debate team and named it after local historic figure Roger Sherman. They began formal competition in the 2003-2004 season.

In the season of 2011-2012 Rashad Evans joined the Westconn squad. In his first semester as the team’s director he coached intensively and as a result our recent joined novices, Taylor Pasquence and Taylor Wolff won the James Madison Debate tournament. Since then the Taylors, as the debate community kindly nicknamed them became known as the Super Novices for the 2011-2013 season. The Taylors finished the season with a proud record and wining 6 ballots at the NDT District 8 Qualifier.

In the 2012-2013 season WestConn’s team Kylah Broughton and Eugene Ben Allen won the CEDA Northeast Championship hosted here at Western.  Kyalah and Ben did not lose a single ballot during this tournament, an incredible feat.

After a period of inactivity, WestConn’s debate team was restarted in the spring semester of 2017 by Greg Rabito and Alex Laifer. Greg transferred to seminary school after the semester, leaving Alex as the sole student to represent WCSU at tournaments. He found success competing with swing partners from other schools at each tournament and won many rounds in the 17-18 season.

Former Directors and Coaches

Renan Max F. Hamoy

Rashad Evans

Rashad Evans J.D.

Dr. Wynn Gadkar Wilcox

Dr. Wynn Gadkar Wilcox

Dr. Christopher Kukk

Dr. Christopher Kukk