Osgoode Debate Society comes out on top at Winter Carnival tournament

The Osgoode Debate Society (ODS) has once again made its mark at McGill University’s 61st annual McGill Winter Carnival tournament.

Third-year York law student Brent Kettles, along with debating partner and friend Joshua Sealy-Harrington of the University of Calgary, came out on top at the Winter Carnival, North America’s longest running tournament, which ran from Jan. 21 to 23. It is a tournament where debaters often compete with friends, some of them from other universities, and is seen as one of the most competitive debate tournaments in North America. This year, there were 74 teams from across Canada and the United States.

Kettles was also ranked the second highest speaker overall during the tournament’s preliminary rounds. As past president of the Osgoode Debate Society, this was Kettle’s final tournament after eight years of debating. He was ranked as ninth overall – the highest ranked Canadian speaker – and his team placed seventh in the preliminary rounds at the World University Debate Championship in Botswana over the winter break.

Andrew Monkhouse, current Osgoode Debate Society president, debated with Andrew Choat of the University of Waterloo at the Winter Carnival and successfully made it to the quarter-finals. Their team came in sixth overall in the tournament. At last weekend’s North American Debating Championships held at Fordham University in New York, Monkhouse was ranked one of the top judges and was one of the few Canadians selected to judge the final rounds of the prestigious tournament, which was hosted by the Osgoode Hall Law School last year.

Osgoode student James Stevenson earned the honour of third highest first-year debater overall out of a roster of 40 debaters. Also participating from Osgoode was Sarah Molyneaux.

The Osgoode Debate Society (formerly the Osgoode Hall Debate Society) was founded in the 1920s. It is the only law school debate society in Canada, and is among a select few in North America, including Yale University and Harvard University. ODS is affiliated with the York Debating Society.