Category Archives: News

Alex Laifer Competes at JV Novice Nationals

In his final tournament at WCSU, Alex Laifer competed at JV Novice Nationals at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia. He competed in the more competitive Junior Varsity Division with Daniel Gomez of the University of Rochester! They faced some of the most competitive teams in the country!

In less than a month, Alex competed in three tournaments on a shoestring budget. To make things more impressive, he did so without a director or coach from WCSU. On top of this, he had a swing partner from a different school at each tournament. This was a difficult way to compete, but it didn’t stop him from substantially improving his debate skills in a short period of time!

Alex delivering the first affirmative speech (1AC) during one of the rounds.

Alex Laifer Finds Success at Regionals

Alex Laifer has continued to do well at tournaments despite being the only competitor from WCSU! On February 24 and 25, he competed at Binghamton Northeast Regional Championship. He partnered with Sehej Johar of George Mason University. They won three rounds in the Novice Division. Congrats to Alex and Sehej for their wins!

Alex Laifer Breaks to Quarter Finals at The New School

Alex Laifer of WCSU competed in the Novice Division of the Gotham Debates at The New School on February 10 and 11, 2018. He was on a hybrid team with Jane Wu of Boston College. They had a strong showing; they won three rounds in prelims and broke to Quarter Finals! Congratulations to Alex and Jane for their results!

The Roger Sherman Debate Society Makes a Comeback at West Point

The Roger Sherman Debate Society went to the United States Military Academy (West Point) on October 28 and 29 to compete in their first policy debate tournament in a year and a half and first tournament since becoming a student organization this past January. Alex Laifer and Juan Leal were partners for six rounds; it was also their first time competing in a policy debate tournament.

They did especially well since they were on a shoestring budget. To save on costs, Alex and Juan took day trips to West Point both days instead of staying in a hotel. By doing so, they had to be on the road by 5 am both days.

Additionally, Alex and Juan did not travel with a coach to help them strategize in between rounds. This was a great learning experience for both Alex and Juan, who improved throughout the tournament. The Roger Sherman Debate Society plans on competing in more tournaments in the coming months.

On Saturday, October 29, Alex (left) and Juan (right) had to leave before 5 am for the West Point Debate Tournament. They were rewarded with a beautiful sunrise in the Hudson River Valley!

Juan reading a constructive speech in a round.

Alex (left) preparing his rebuttal speech while Juan (right) answers questions in a cross-examination.

Hat City Invite 2015 – Northeast Regionals

The Roger Sherman Debate Society of Western Connecticut State University is pleased to invite you yet again to:

The Hat City Debates:

Worlds Regional Championship – NEUDC

The Northeastern CEDA Regionals / NDT D8 Qualifier

February 20 – 22, 2015

Our tournament will be held in the once and future hat-making capital of the world, Danbury, Connecticut.


The tournament will feature six rounds of cross-examination policy debate in novice and junior varsity, using the 2014-2015 CEDA/NDT topic:


Resolved: The United States should legalize all or nearly all of one or more of the following in the United States: marihuana, prostitution, online gambling, the sale of human organs, physician assisted suicide.


The tournament will follow traditional CEDA/NDT rules regarding speech and prep time, including 9-3-6 speech time and 10 minutes of prep time.  The tournament will also follow CEDA/NDT rules regarding elimination rounds to allow for maximize amount of eligible teams to participate in elimination debates.  Judges are expected to decide their debates and deliver a decision within 2.5 hours of start time. Lastly, the District 8 qualifier for the NDT will follow all NDT and District 8 rules regarding eligibility and qualification.


The Hat City Debates will be hosting the NEUDC in the world’s division. All WUDC rules are available at During preparation teams may only discuss the motion with their partner or with one of the chief adjudicators.  Judges should be provided at the N-1 rule otherwise a fee of $120 per uncovered judge will be applied.. Undergraduates familiar with the event may be used as judges.  Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at an institution may compete or judge. Please register by email at


Fees: $50 per person in attendance. All checks should be made payable to the WCSU – Roger Sherman Debate Society. For policy division there is also a fee of $180 for each full commitment (6 rounds) uncovered judge or $30 per uncovered round. For the world’s division there is a fee of $120 per uncovered judge on the N-1 requirement. We will seek to accommodate schools with financial difficulty. Please let us know about the number of vegetarians and vegans in your group so we can accommodate their dietary needs.

We will be providing breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday with vegan meal choices.


If you have any questions feel free to contact Renan Max Hamoy by phone at 203-456-0818 or by email at




Best Western Plus Danbury/Bethel @ 69.99 including full American breakfast
11 Stony Hill Road, Bethel, Connecticut, 06801

“Hat City Debate Tournament” for the group rate.


Microtel Bethel, CT @ 69.99 including full American breakfast

80 Benedict Rd. Bethel, CT 06801


“Hat City Debate Tournament” for the group rate.


La Quinta Inn & Suites, @ 80.00 including continental breakfast
116 Newtown Road, Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 798-1200

“Hat City Debate Tournament” for the group rate.




6:30 PM: Registration at the Best Western’s conference room until 8:30 PM



07:00 AM: Registration at Warner Hall, first floor

07:30 AM: Breakfast at Warner Hall, first floor (bagels and beverages)

08:00 AM: Round 1

10:30 AM: Round 2

12:30 PM: Lunch at Warner Hall (Chicken Marsala or Vegan Option)

01:30 PM: Round 3

04:00 PM: Round 4 (Last NDT round for the day)

Dinner provided by the tournament at Warner Hall (Policy Division)

07:00 PM: Round 5


07:30 AM: Breakfast at Warner Hall, first floor

08:00 AM: Round 5 (NDT only) Round 6 (CEDA only)

11:00 AM: Elimination Rounds

1:30 PM: Lunch and Award Ceremony will be held at Warner Hall, first floor

02:30 PM: Elimination Rounds

04:30 PM: Elimination Rounds (as necessary)

07:00 PM: Elimination Rounds (as necessary)

The NDT and CEDA meetings will be announced during the course of the tournament.




07:00 AM: Registration at Warner Hall, first floor

07:30 AM: Breakfast at Warner Hall, first floor (bagels and beverages)

General Assembly is at Science Building 125

08:20 AM: Round 1 – Motion Announced

10:50 AM: Round 2 – Motion Announced

12:30 PM: Lunch at Student Center Cafeteria, New location this year for Worlds
(Chicken Marsala or Vegan Option)

01:50 PM: Round 3 – Motion Announced

04:20 PM: Round 4 – Motion Announced

Dinner provided by the tournament at the Science Building Lobby (World’s Division)

06:50 PM: Round 5 – Motion Announced


07:30 AM: Breakfast at Warner Hall, first floor

08:20 AM: Round 6 – Motion Announced

11:20 AM: World’s Elimination Rounds

01:30 PM: Lunch and Award Ceremony

02:50 PM: Elimination Rounds

04:50 PM: Elimination Rounds (as necessary)

07:20 PM: Elimination Rounds (as necessary)

Westconn is the District 8 Northeast Champions for 2012-2013

Congratulations to Kylah Broughton and Eugene Ben Allen this weekend on a stellar performance at this year’s Hat City Debate Tournament at WCSU! As a team, they were awarded First Place of the District 8 Cross Examination Debate Association Championship! On top of winning the district championship tournament, Kylah Broughton was awarded the First Place Speaker Award and Eugene Ben Allen was awarded the Fifth Place Speaker Award!!

Quarter-Finalists at UNLV 2012

We are back from UNLV where Taylor Pasquence and Taylor Wolff made it to the quarterfinals in the junior varsity division and Taylor Wolff was 7th speaker. The team finished prelims with a 5-2 record and earned a bye through the octafinals! Very proud of them both. They worked hard for this!

Team Taylor Finalists at CSU-Fullerton 2012

Rashad Evans, director of the Roger Sherman Debate Society, sends this update of the RSDS’s latest successes:

“I would like to congratulate the sophomore team of Taylor Pasquence and Taylor Wolff for making it all the way to the final round of the CSU-Fullerton national debate tournament.  ‘Team Taylor’ beat teams from UNLV, CSU-Chico, San Diego State University and CSU-Northridge before losing a hard fought final debate round to Cornell on a split decision .  In one semester, Team Taylor has successfully made the jump from novice to junior varsity debate, which has coined them the name ‘super novices’ around the country.  With a tournament win at James Madison University, a finals appearance at CSU-Fullerton and a semi-finals appearance at SUNY-Binghamton, Team Taylor has been successful from east to west and from north to south.  They are well on their way to being nationally competitive in the open division.  They will next compete at UT-Austin where they will face their strongest competition to date.  They are both already hard at work!

“Next month (February 25-26), RSDS will host the Hat City Debate Tournament, where for the first time in team history Western Connecticut State University will compete in the District 8 qualifying tournament in hopes of gaining one of the limited 78 spots at the prestigious National Debate Tournament (NDT) to be hosted by Emory University in Atlanta this March.”
Way to go, Team Taylor and RSDS.

Taylor Wolff and Taylor Pasquence Novice Champions at James Madison University 2011

Rashad Evans, the new coach of the Roger Sherman Debate Society (RSDS), shares the following terrific news:

“I am so happy to report that the Roger Sherman Debate Society captured its first championship of the young debate season! Sophomores Taylor Wolff and Taylor Pasquence won the novice division of the James Madison University Debate tournament this past weekend.  The team posted incredible victories over James Madison University, SUNY Binghamton, Richmond University, Liberty University and a decisive final round victory over Vanderbilt University.  In addition, Talyor Pasquence was named the 3rd best individual speaker in the division. This was an impressive follow-up to the team’s semi-final appearance at the season’s first tournament.  They will now compete in the junior varsity division!

“Juniors Eugene Allen and Ben Townsend also competed with great success in the junior varsity division compiling wins over George Mason University, The US Naval Academy and SUNY Binghamton before losing to eventual champion Vanderbilt University in the octa-final round.
“I would like to congratulate both teams on their success and thank them for their hard work both before and during the tournament.

Thanks to team captain R. Max Hamoy who traveled with the team, scouted and coached along the way.

“Next up is West Point!”

Novice Teams Successful Performance at Cal Swing 2011

Here’s a report from Kevin Gaughan, assistant coach of the Roger Sherman Debate Society, about the team’s successful performance in the Cal State Fullerton Debate Tournament in early January:

“I would like to extend my congratulations to Renan Max Hamoy, Kianna Woodard, Ben Townsend, and Ben Allen for what was WCSU’s best performance ever at the Cal State Fullerton Debate Tournament [in early January]. The Fullerton debate tournament has long been considered one of the most competitive tournaments in the country, and both teams posted winning records in the novice division. Ben Townsend and Ben Allen advanced to the semi-finals of the entire tournament, losing a split decision debate to the eventual champions from San Francisco State University.

“R. Max Hamoy also deserves special recognition for winning an award for being the second best speaker in a competitive novice bracket. His accomplishment, together with the overall success of both teams, has distinguished WCSU as a competitive debate program on the national scene. Congratulations again to all who debated and keep up the good work in the spring semester!”

Way to go, RSDS!