Cal Poly Debate Team Members Finish in Final Round of UC Davis Tournament

Cal Poly Debate Team members Minnal Kunnan (computer science) and Neeckaun Irani (political science) were finalists at the UC Davis Intervarsity Debate Tournament, which took place Nov. 8-10. Teams from around the Western United States debated a comprehensive range of topics including international relations, social justice, environmental policy, domestic policy, economics, and philosophy. After seven rounds of competition, Cal Poly emerged as the only public university to advance to the final round. Finalists Kunnan and Irani argued that American national security necessitates a reduction of privacy for both American and foreign citizens.

Since their transition to the World Universities Debate Format, the Cal Poly Debate Team has competed in three tournaments and is poised to establish itself as a powerful force in the national and local circuits.

Students who participate in debate are exposed to a wide variety of philosophies and approaches to knowledge, and they bring these ideas back to the Cal Poly campus, enriching their own lives, as well as their classmates. Debate team members also have the opportunity to interact with different cultures’ ideas and perspectives.

The Cal Poly Debate Team also provides opportunities for students to participate in debates on campus. Each quarter, Introduction to Forensic Activity (COMS 250) and Advanced Forensics Activity (COMS 350) conclude with an intramural tournament that debates topics across the curriculum. 

On Dec. 4, eight students debated a proposition that stated, “This House believes that Canada and the United States should merge.” The fourth place position was awarded to Derek Usher and David Hunter; Alek Johnson and Jamison Jordan placed third; Sean Dingilian and John Schuknecht placed second; and Jeremy Brooks and Rameen Shafiee took first place. All intramural tournament winners are communication studies majors.

Debate participation at Cal Poly is open to all students on campus. Anyone interested in learning more about the program can contact  or 

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