WCSU students earn top regional honors in college debate tournament
First-place team and individual awards mark milestones for Western debate society

DANBURY, CONN. Western Connecticut State University students Kylah Broughton and Eugene Ben Allen achieved top regional honors in competition with teams representing colleges across the Northeast in the Hat City Debate Tournament held on Feb. 23 and 24, 2013, on the WCSU Midtown campus in Danbury.

Broughton and Allen, members of Western’s Roger Sherman Debate Society, earned first place among student teams competing for the District 8 Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Championship at the Hat City Tournament. Broughton, who resides in Danbury, also won the first-place Speaker Award for the Northeastern district while Allen, a Naugatuck resident, placed fifth in the individual speaker competition.

The Roger Sherman Debate Society has established a reputation for defeating rival teams from larger universities and colleges across the region and nation since its founding more than a decade ago. The honors captured by Broughton and Allen marked two new milestones for the society — the first WCSU team to win a regional championship, and the first WCSU student to win an individual Speaker Award in regional competition. The regional CEDA Championship placed the WCSU team in competition with debaters from Binghamton University, the City University of New York, Cornell University, the New School, the U.S. Military Academy, the University of Vermont and other Northeastern higher education institutions in District 8.

In a message to the Western debate team, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jane McBride Gates congratulated all students who represented the university in the competition on their outstanding results. “Your continued exemplary performance and accomplishments transform our community of learners and garner national recognition,” Gates observed.

The Hat City Tournament featured six rounds of cross-examination debate by student participants at the novice and junior varsity levels representing a total of 24 universities and colleges from 10 states. All debates addressed the 2012-13 CEDA/National Debate Tournament (NDT) topic, which poses the resolution that the U.S. federal government “should substantially reduce restrictions and/or substantially increase financial incentives for energy production in the United States” for specified conventional and alternative energy sources.

Roger Sherman Debate Society president Taylor Wolff, of Bethel, expressed pride in the Western organization’s achievements in debate competition. He noted the coordinated effort by university staff, students and alumni, debate society members and volunteers from the WCSU Sigma Chi chapter produced a well-managed program attended by more than 400 persons. In addition to the CEDA district championship, the Hat City Tournament also included the NDT District 8 qualifier round and the British Parliamentary/World regional competition.

“With all this help and cooperation, we were able to run one of the most successful tournaments in the Northeast,” Wolff said. “It was so successful that the entire Northeast region asked us to host the tournament again next year.” Rashad Evans, WCSU director of debate and coach of the Sherman Debate Society, also has been elected this year as the new NDT chairperson for District 8.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.


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