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Debate team picks up individual wins

April 26, 2012

 

CHAD MERRITT
Staff Reporter

 

Though they were taking on the added adversary in a stomach bug, the Tech Debate Team still managed to do well in competition.

 

The International Public Debate Association’s National Tournament was held at Sam Houston State University April 12-15.

 

Tech competed against 71 universities from across the United States and four foreign countries’ teams.

 

Dr. Web Drake, the IPDA Governing Board Chair, said this tournament is the largest tournament of the year, and that this tournament was the largest tournament in its history.

 

Trey Avant, a senior political science and sociology major, placed the highest among Tech’s debaters. Avant won the fifth top speaker in the nation for team debate, and placed in the top four in team debate.

 

“Being that I started on the debate team at the beginning of the year, now that I am one of the best debaters in the nation means a lot,” he said.

 

A wide range of topics were discussed at the tournament this year, ranging from issues like hydraulic fracturing methods and US/Syrian relations to topics like sports and why the movie “Bridesmaids” should have won more Oscars.

 

David Hyde, a senior biomedical engineering major, says there is a topic for everyone.

 

“Many people think it’s a bunch of tough topics, but really, the topics are broad enough for any interest,” Hyde said.

 

Hyde, who placed top sixteen in the nation, said debating the topic of whether herbivores or carnivores were right was his favorite topic during the tournament.

 

“Yelling at someone because you think herbivores are better than carnivores is pretty awesome,” Hyde said.

 

Members of Tech’s debate team ranked highly among other schools, beating out schools such as Tulane, Texas A&M and Rice.

 

Kristin Farquharson, a senior political science and sociology major, won fourth best speaker in the nation at the tournament.

 

She said the progress she has made since she joined the debate team makes her proud.

 

“It’s really cool to see that in a couple months Shane could make me the fourth best speaker in the nation,” Farquharson said.

 

Shane Puckett, director of debate, said he is proud of how far Tech’s debate team has come.

 

“The team has accomplished so much in the past few years,” Puckett said. “The resources of Tech’s students, from their critical thinking skills to their interpersonal skills, makes them very well-rounded as competitors.”

 

Although the debate season just ended with the national tournament, Tech’s debate team is already beginning preparations for next season.

 

The debate team is open to any student willing to participate, regardless of past participation, knowledge or skill.

 

“I was pretty bad when I started debate at the beginning of the year,” Avant said. “And now I’m the forth best in the nation, which is really cool.”

 

Email comments to cam059@latech.edu.

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One Response to Debate team picks up individual wins

  1. Former Debater Reply

    May 1, 2012 at 11:53 am

    There are a few problems with this story. First of all, the author should have at least looked up IPDA Debate and noted the different divisions in IPDA – Novice, Varsity, and Professional. Trey and Kristin did not place “in the nation” as a whole, they won awards in the Novice Division and Team Division.

    Second, Avant DID NOT place fourth in Team debate. In fact, his team went 1-3. You can view the results here: http://www.ipdadebate.info/uploads/4/9/8/1/4981933/team_ipda_nationals.pdf and here: http://www.ipdadebate.info/uploads/4/9/8/1/4981933/individual_debate_complete_results.pdf

    Third, two of the schools you claimed that Tech beat out did not attend the tournament! Texas A and M INTERNATIONAL (TAMIU) competed, but Texas A and M (TAMU) did not attend. I also cannot find Rice University on the Team Sweepstakes page: http://www.ipdadebate.info/uploads/4/9/8/1/4981933/tournament_sweepstakes.pdf

    Fourth, Tech beat out Tulane, but Tulane only brought four competitors and Tech brought eight!

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