Cleveland takes Jean Ward

Cleveland’s Talia Cordova and Susan McHarris took the championship at Jean Ward negating the resolution, “The USFG should create clearer legal definitions of protected and unprotected speech,” against Lakeridge’s Eva Augst and Claire Fennell. Fifty-seven parliamentary teams traveled to the Lewis and Clark College campus in Portland, Oregon for the Jean Ward Invitational Tournament over the weekend of January 19th, a significant increase from the thirty-four entries last year. This year teams from Oregon and California from twenty-four different schools made the trek up, whereas last year Oregon made up the entire field.

After six preliminary rounds the two day invitational broke to partial double-octofinals where the top twelve teams received a bye and eight teams battled to make it to the next elimination round. In novice parliamentary division the field only had nineteen entries that broke to quarterfinals.

In the Varsity Finals round, Champion Talia Cordova from Cleveland explained that “both teams attempted to solve for the impacts of violence caused and incited by hate speech. The debate boiled down to determining whether the federal government is an effective actor in prosecuting hate crimes and protecting marginalized groups, as well as how extreme the backlash caused by restricting certain forms of speech would be.”

Many students noted that the higher quantity of advanced judges and well written and balanced topics lead to more technical debate than the Oregon norm. Crescent Valley’s Garak Ward noted that, “coming from a team who doesn’t know much about progressive debate, some topics at Lewis and Clark showed us how much we need to learn about debate philosophy.” Additionally, Champion Cordova commented that, “debating in front of college debaters and other experienced judges allowed us to experiment with more progressive arguments, especially critical ones.”

Furthermore, multiple competitors remarked that Jean Ward judges were especially willing to give feedback after the round, which breaks Oregon parli norms because of state rules against disclosure that have discouraged any oral feedback at invitationals. Cordova remarked that, “a lot of our judges were willing to give lots of feedback and advice, which made this tournament one of the most constructive and educational ones we’ve competed at this year.”

One of the largest differences between Oregon and California parli is the use of the internet. In discussing this with Emily Vainberg from Panthers Independent, one of the two California schools with entires, she noted that “the resolutions gave both sides the chance to make lots of good arguments without having the use of the internet.” She emphasized that debates without internet prep “focuses more on knowledge and logic that opponents have rather facts you can find on the internet.” 

As more Oregon tournaments recruit experienced judging pools and prepare more policy oriented resolutions, more California teams may make the trek up and further the process of integration between the two circuits. 


Sprague Arianna Martin & Eden McCall def. Crescent Valley Grace Kohler & Kate Voltz (2-1)

Jesuit Jonathan Fong & Jacob Inocencio def. Ashland Hannah Doyle & Annika Larson (2-1)

Lincoln Andrew Sheiman & Zoe Tomlinson def. Cleveland Isabella Baird & Gus Glasheen (2-1)

Lincoln Nate Brunk & Hunter Webb def. Sprague Caitlin Meek & Claire Warncke (3-0)

Ashland Sarah Aaronson & Sienna Scoggin def. South Eugene Madeline Spawn & Ava Vasconcellos (2-1)

Lakeridge Eva Augst & Claire Fennell def. Crescent Valley Todd Meng & Gabriel Toea (2-1)

Panthers Independent Shreya Agarwal & Emily Vainberg def. Cleveland Eli Kruger & Daniel Wittenberg (3-0)

Cleveland Talia Cordova & Susan McHarris def. Crescent Valley Aravind Sriram & Garak Ward (3-0)


Lincoln Brunk & Webb def. Sprague Martin & McCall (2-1)

Jesuit Fong & Inocencio def. Lincoln Sheiman & Tomlinson (2-1)

Cleveland Cordova & McHarris def. Ashland Aaronson and Scoggin (3-0)

Lakeridge Augst & Fennell def. Panthers Independent Agarwal & Vainberg (2-1)


Lakeridge Augst & Fennel def. Lincoln Brunk & Webb (2-1)

Cleveland Cordova & McHarris def. Jesuit Fong & Inocencio (3-0)


Cleveland Cordova & McHarris def. Lakeridge Augst & Fennel (3-0)

Full results here