Pitt Debate Places in National Tournament

Cathedral of Learning pictured from a distance

Two teams from the Pitt Policy Debate organization qualified for and competed in the National Debate Tournament (NDT) at the end of March. 

Qualifying for the National Debate Tournament is no easy feat: In order for Pitt’s teams to compete they had to win against other teams in their district, from schools such as Georgetown University and James Madison University. Each district can qualify 5-8 teams, and Pitt qualified two teams.  

One team, consisting of sophomore biological science major Alex Reznik and sophomore political science major Zachary Lim, placed first in their district to qualify for the NDT. Another team, comprising history major Christian Mendoza and sophomore Kwudjwa Osei, also qualified through the district process.

Throughout the debate season, teams continue to debate the same topic, creating new arguments and saving their best for the national tournament. This year, the debates focused on the United States’ alliance agreements with Korea, Japan, China and NATO.

The tournament itself is a long, multi-day process, taking several hours per day for up to five days. Reznik and Lim’s team made it to the double octa-finals, and Mendoza and Osei made it to the semi-finals. According to advisor Calum Matheson, “This is the best debate performance for Pitt since we won the NDT in 1981.”

This content was written by Kendal Johnson, a student reporter for Pittwire.