By Brendon Stanton, Debate Team Member

On Dec. 5 and 6, Pacific Lutheran Univeristy hosted 38 schools and over 700 students from all over the Pacific Northwest, including Canada, for the return of the T.O.H. Karl Speech and Debate Tournament. The tournament allowed students to improve vital public speaking, critical thinking, research and analytic skills.

The tournament was a prestigious Tournament of Champions qualifier, giving top competitors points toward eligibility for the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions in 2015.

The tournament boasted more than 300 individual event and almost 200 debate student entries. High school students competed in student congress and three types of debate, including public forum, policy and Lincoln-Douglas debate. Individual events included expository, extemporaneous, impromptu speaking and many others.

The tournament showcased the PLU Speech and Debate program as well as the school in its entirety. Visiting schools were impressed with PLU’s hospitality and excellence in running the tournament. Local high school coach William “Bill” Nicolay, said it was “a really great tournament” and “thought everything ran very smoothly and it was a great experience.”

More than 100 PLU students, staff, faculty and community members volunteered to judge the events.

“I am so incredibly grateful for the support, it demonstrates PLU’s commitment to the forensics community,” Dr. Justin Eckstein, Director of Forensics, gushed.

The PLU Speech and Debate team will begin practicing again on Jan. 6 to prepare for competition at Western Washington University on Jan. 30.

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