On Saturday evening at CSU Fullerton's fall invitational, Crescenta Valley High School’s Ray Alonso & John Woo went against Oxford Academy’s Debayan Bandyopadhay & Nikhil Patel. In the final round, Alonso & Woo affirmed the resolution, “The memeification of Harambe does more harm than good,” and seized victory with a split 2-1 decision.

After debating serious current event topics for nine rounds, the final round resolution served well as an icebreaker. Finals was "more enjoyable, [albeit] sometimes very humorous," said Woo. 

Alonso & Woo’s argument centered around their claim that memes had a divisive nature, while Bandyopadhay & Patel defended their position that memes help issues to be publicly known.

However, the biggest point of contention was whether the Harambe memes cause actual harm. 

Left to right: Crescenta Valley’s Ray Alonso & John Woo. Image courtesy of John Woo

Left to right: Crescenta Valley’s Ray Alonso & John Woo. Image courtesy of John Woo

Alonso & Woo’s victory, however, was not without its trials and tribulations. Alonso & Woo ranked eleventh in the preliminary seeds after winning four rounds and broke into the elimination rounds, winning the octofinal, quarterfinal, and semifinal rounds before facing Bandyopadhay & Patel, who were the undefeated top seed from prelims, in the final round.

With a total of 37 entries, the elimination rounds began in partial-octofinals with thirteen teams who qualified by winning four or more rounds in the preliminaries. The odd number of teams both in the preliminaries and in octofinals rounds gave some partnerships default victories because they had no opponents.

The top three speakers of The CSU Fullerton invitational were University High School’s Aurnov Chattopadhyay with 176 points, Los Osos’ Aaron Ing with 175.1 points, and Redlands’ Adam Pepper with 175 points.


PARTIAL-OCTOFINALS

Oxford Debayan Bandyopadhay & Nikhil Patel (BYE)

Foothill Technology Jenny Chang & Emma Kolesnik def. University High School – Fresni Nolan Yamada & Josh Mimura

La Costa Canyon Tyler Satoda & Ryan Shook def. Redlands Adam Pepper & Simon McGuire

Foothill Technology Isaac Goldstein & Ryan Moore def. Oxford Marcus Lee & Joshua Chen 

Peninsula Janie Lee & Lindy Liu (BYE)

Crescenta Valley Ray Alonso & John Woo def. Redlands Abigail Barton & Kevin Liu

Oxford Edward Jung & Joy Jung def. Claremont Ashton Ngiam & Kelvin Brown 

Granada Hills Cory Cunanan & Mohib Jafri (BYE)

QUARTERFINALS

Oxford Bandyopadhay & Patel def. Foothill Technology Chang & Kolesnik

Foothill Technology Goldstein & Moore def. La Costa Canyon Satoda & Shook

Crescenta Valley Alonso & Woo def. Peninsula Lee & Liu 

Oxford Jung & Jung def. Granada Hills Cunanan & Jafri

SEMIFINALS

Oxford BP def. Foothill GM

Crescenta Valley AW def. Oxford JJ

FINALS

Crescenta Valley AW def. Oxford BP


Results may be found here. 


Our Southern California correspondents are Christina Patricia, who debates for Torrey Pines High School, and Kavan Nakai, who debates for Claremont High School.