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Kalamalama - Hawai'i Pacific University Student Newspaper

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HPU hosts debate competition

    By Nikita Drake. March 20, 2018 - 9:15 am

SolBridge Debate Team, winner of Pan Pacific 2018. Jaedong “JD” Jeong (right) and Soojung “Sally” Lee (left). Photo provided by Sterling Higa.

A South Korea school wins the Pan Pacific Debating Championship. Hawai’i Pacific University’s (HPU) Debate Society hosted this years event on Feb. 24 and 25.

Nine schools competed with 22 teams, including HPU, University of Hawai’i at Manoa (UH) and Windward Community College.

An HPU team, consisting of Gianna Prinzivalli and Nicholas Calle, won two of the six rounds they competed in.

HPU Student Body President and Debate Society officer, Leilani Feleciano, expressed that she felt the tournament is important for the HPU debate team and helps them gain valuable experience. HPU’s Pan Pacific tournament is a great opportunity for the HPU Debate Team to learn how to plan and run a successful debate tournament, gain experience for future tournaments, and create connections within the Debate community.”

Out of the 22 teams, four went into the finals. The teams were two from United States Air Force Academy, one from SolBridge International School of Business and one from Clemson University.

The subject of debate for the finals was whether or not to warn the public of a nuclear attack on O’ahu. The judges made a unanimous decision, awarding the win to SolBridge International School of Business.

The chief judges of the debate were Sterling Higa, the HPU debate coach, and Daniel Hugo, the founder of the UH debate team. Higa and Hugo judged the finals alongside Dr. John Hart, the HPU Communications Department Chair, and Dr. Serena Hashimoto, the HPU Communications Undergraduate Program Chair.

Higa explained that the decision was made based on the quality of the argument. “The judges were impressed with the arguments of SolBridge. They argued that sending a warning to citizens before a nuclear strikes allows them to determine how they spend their last minutes.”