Cambridge, MA –(November 5th, 2021) The Harvard Debate Council hosted their biennial debate tournament on the weekend of October 29-November 2nd. This year’s debate tournament featured one hundred and ninety-six competitors from thirty-four different colleges and universities. Undergraduate students competed across three divisions based on experience levels Novice, Junior Varsity and Open.

The event featured six preliminary rounds of competition, where students argued on both sides, on the topic “Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase prohibitions on anticompetitive business practices by the private sector by at least expanding the scope of its core antitrust laws”. Followed by a single elimination tournament where the top thirty-two Open, top six Junior Varsity teams advanced based on the results from the preliminary rounds.

The Novice division showcased competitors with little to no experience in debate and held a round robin where the team of Farzamuddin Ahmed & Wajih Rehman from the University of Houston was recognized as the Champion. Their teammate Taylor Laredo was recognized as the Top Speaker of the Division.

The Junior Varsity division showcased competitors with limited experience in debate cleared to a partial Quarterfinal featuring teams from Gonzaga University, Macalester College, Oakton Community College, the University of Central Oklahoma, the University of Houston, and the University of Minnesota. The Final Round saw top seeded Kayla Fries & Nine Abad advance over their teammates Brett Cryan & Rex Kidd from Houston. James Piazza from the University of Iowa was recognized as the Top Speaker of the Division.

The Open division is the highest level of competition in CEDA debate cleared to a Double Octafinal featuring teams from California State University – Fullerton, Dartmouth College, Emory University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, Gonzaga University, Harvard University, Liberty University, Michigan State University, Northwestern University, the University of California – Berkeley, the University of Iowa, the University of Kansas, the University of Kentucky, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, the University of Southern California, and the University of Texas – Austin. The Final Round saw a 2-1 victory for Akash Deo & Nina Fridman from Northwestern over Eugenia Giampetruzzi & Grace Kessler from Emory. Natalie Robinson from Liberty was recognized for the third time this year as the Top Speaker of the Division.

The tournament marked the seventh weekend of the competitive season and provided a total of over twenty-two thousand minutes of speaking time for undergraduate students. Students engaged in a minimum of three debates in favor of the resolution and three opposed, requiring them to test their hours of research and preparation on both sides of the topic. The format enables students to build skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.


Cross Examination Debate Association was founded in 1971. CEDA is currently responsible for formulating the annual intercollegiate policy debate topic used in tournament competition throughout the nation. Throughout the season, CEDA calculates National Sweepstakes Standings, the national and regional rankings of member institutions based on compiled tournament results.