The Hellenic American University Debate Team faced the Rollins College’s Varsity Debate Team in a debate hosted by Rollins at their campus in Silver Springs, Florida on November 11th, 2023. The teams debated the topic whether businesses should be allowed to deny services to LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds, a controversial issue in the US context given several recent US Supreme Court decisions. The University’s team came within one vote of victory, losing 4 – 3 to their US opponents, a top-ranked team with top-place finishes at the state and national level.
The debate judges, along with Rollins College President, Grant H. Cornwell, congratulated the Greek team for the quality of their preparation, argumentation, and performance in the debate.
The team, represented by Andriana Gounalaki, Androniki Fili and Jonathan Cacatian, were accompanied by Hellenic American University’s provost, Dr. Themis Kaniklidou, who also serves as co-coach, along with Stephen Bacigal, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment and an adjunct faculty member. Dr. Kaniklidou stated, “I am very proud of Andriana, Androniki and Jonathan for their accomplishment. I hope that the Rollins experience was a transformative one and that we can continue the work of the debate team for the next generations of HAU students”.
During their stay at Rollins College the team accompanied their Rollins counterparts on visits to local high school debate teams and also sat in on several Rollins College classes.
Andriana, Niki and Jonathan are the first students to be recruited for the debate team. An information session will take place on December 12th, 2023, at 3:00 pm (HAEC, 6th floor Conference Room) to announce try outs for recruiting more undergraduate students.
Image: Hellenic American University Provost, Dr. Themis Kaniklidou with the university’s Debate Team at the Rollins College campus.