Penguin Debate Tourney features teams from across nation

Dominican University of California hosted nine colleges and more than 115 participants from across the country in the Third Penguin Invitational Worlds Style Debate Tournament November 4-5 in Guzman Lecture Hall on 50 Acacia Avenue in San Rafael.

Colleges sending multiple teams to Dominican included the University of Mississippi, University of Miami, Northwest University from Kirkland, WA., UC Berkeley, Pepperdine, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Claremont College, Humboldt State, and Los Medanos College. Dominican was the host team.

Students representing Dominican were the debate teams of Kayla Robinson and Allison Kustic, Hallie Balch and Oliver Demmert-Shelfo, David Nguyen and Austin Sacker, and Emmaline Harris and Jorge Cortez. Student debate judges included Lorena Paredes, Luz Torres-Altamirano, Olivia Salinger, Olivia Ramirez, Nuno Vungo, and Natalia Chamaki plus Dominican alums Erika Rosales-Shelfo and
Talia Gonzalez. Samantha Hunt helped organize the event.

The two-day tournament began on Saturday with registration, coffee, and snacks followed by the judge and competitor briefing. The competition started at 9:30 a.m. with the first of six preliminary rounds with Worlds University Debate Championship rules.

The first day of the competition concluded with the Topic Round Four at 4:45 p.m. and the second day of the competition began on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. with Topic Round Five. The tournament ended with elimination rounds at 3 p.m. and an awards ceremony following the final elimination round.

Mississippi RB #1 and Berkeley SiKa were the two winning finalists, defeating Mississippi BY and Claremont KS in the Final Four. The final topic was "This House Would Call A Constitutional Convention To Address The Problem Of Gun Violence in America."

Dominican teams finished higher than teams from Miami, Cal Poly, Pepperdine, Claremont, Humboldt, and Los Medanos. David Nguyen was the highest individual finisher (35th out of 72) for Dominican while Allison Kustic and Kayla Robinson were the highest Dominican team, placing 20th after six rounds.

For more information, contact Christian Dean, Debate Program Coordinator/Coach and professor in Dominican's Department of Political Science and International Studies, at

November 2, 2017