Category Archives: TDS in the News

Trojan Debate Squad excels at national tournament

“As the oldest student organization at USC, the Trojan Debate Squad has more than 70 members — and some of these students are making their mark on the national stage.

“Seniors Aron Berger and Hex Larsen were both given Cross Examination Debate Association National Debate Scholar summa cum laude awards for academic excellence. (Photo courtesy of Kiran Dhillon.)

“This year, two USC seniors received the highest honors in national debate tournaments for their academic excellence, debate success and contributions to the community.

“Hex Larsen, a senior majoring in gender studies, and Aron Berger, a senior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, received several recognitions at this year’s Cross Examination Debate Association National Tournament and the National Debate Tournament.

“After the duo competed together in the CEDA National Tournament, Larsen was the first USC debater to be ranked the top speaker in the tournament’s 47-year history.

“‘I was awarded top speaker out of 150 debaters at the tournament — it’s the largest national championship,’ Larsen said. “To be the first USC top speaker of the CEDA tournament is really an honor.”

“Larsen was also awarded the CEDA Brian “Baby Jo” Johnston Debater of the Year Award, which recognizes an outstanding debater who demonstrates a commitment to the highest values of the debate community.

‘”The Debater of the Year award is not just about debate success, but it is also about camaraderie and what it means to be a community member in debate,’ Larsen said. ‘Being awarded was really special to me. It really illuminated the impact I’ve had on others.’

“Larsen and Berger, who also compete as a team, were each awarded CEDA National Debate Scholar summa cum laude awards for academic excellence, as well as All American Debate Squad awards for competitive and academic success, good conduct and contributions to the squad.

“At the 72nd annual NDT, the duo received an overall yearly ranking of ninth best debate team in the country.

Kiran Dhillon is the Trojan Debate Squad’s first female director, and under her leadership, the team has been ranked in the top 16 teams in the nation for two years in a row.
Trojan Debate Squad excels at national tournament, by Brianna Latter, Daily Trojan, April 16, 2018

Trojans get public speaking skills on debate squad

“Civil debate amid partisan politics? USC students keep hope alive.”

Trojan Debate Director KKDhillon Introduces Topic and Debaters

Trojan Debate Director KKDhillon Introduces Topic, #MeToo on College Campuses, and Debaters

“The Trojan Debate Squad, USC’s oldest chartered student organization, is gaining momentum. It teaches critical analysis and reasoned argument during era of trolls and ‘fake news’.

“Finding common ground can be challenging in today’s climate of political bickering.

“But one group of students at USC is learning how to remain civil and stick to the facts, even when arguing over heated issues like health care and abortion. It’s the Trojan Debate Squad, a university-wide organization headquartered at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism that equips students with research and public speaking skills.”
Civil debate amid partisan politics? USC students keep hope alive, by Eric Linberg, USC News, March 14, 2018

Kiran Dhillon, Director of Trojan Debate

“The oldest student organization at USC has just appointed its first female director. Kiran Dhillon, a lecturer of communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, will now lead the USC Trojan Debate Squad.

“Dhillon was first hired by USC in 2016 as the assistant director of the Trojan Debate Squad. Gordon Stables, the former director of the debate team, is confident in Dhillon’s ability to continue the program’s legacy.

“‘We were very fortunate to convince her to join the Trojan family and the Debate Squad is well-positioned for a tremendous era under her leadership,’ Stables said in an email to the Daily Trojan.”
Read more at Debate team hires first female director, by Maverick Freedlander, Trojan Daily, September 7, 2017

Kiran Dhillon

USC debate team takes on UCLA at Saturday event

“USC faced off against UCLA Friday and Saturday night in two parliamentary-style debates, which covered the war in Syria and U.S. immigration policy. The first debate, which had competitors debate the U.S. backing of Syrian rebel groups, ended in victory for the USC team.”


“Friday’s debate had a USC team of senior business administration major Ideen Saiedian and first-year law student Nathaniel Haas, who affirmed the resolution that the U.S. should remove its backing from any rebel groups in the Syrian civil war.”


“The USC team, consisting of sophomore economics and mathematics major Kristoff Weakely and freshman economics and sociology major Rebecca Harbeck, argued against the resolution, warning that the wall would not stop illegal immigration, and instead would marginalize immigrants and create a less accepting environment in the U.S.”
USC debate team takes on UCLA at Saturday event, by Diana Kruzman, Daily Trojan, October 11, 2015