No argument, hard work pays off in debate

David Mair

News Editor

mairdl@plu.edu

Campus debate team rung the victory bell at their first competition three weeks ago.

Pacific Lutheran University’s own T.O.H. Karl Forensics Team kicked off the 2015-2016 debate season one state south at the Steve Hunt Classic at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon, Oct. 10-11.

“As a team, I’m very proud of the tournament,” Sophomore Kaitlyn Hall said.

Out of PLU’s 10 competing teams, five broke into elimination rounds. Three of the four novice teams made it to semifinals. The team also won the sweepstakes award, which is usually won by teams who compete in multiple events, whereas PLU competes in just British Parliamentary.

Senior Brandon Stanton and first-year Tate Adams advanced to finals winning third place in the varsity debate. Junior Matt Aust and Senior Angie Tinker advanced to the quarterfinals in the varsity debate.IMG_4351-2

Hall said she thinks the team did exceptionally well.

Topics for the debate ranged from colonizing Mars to John Boehner’s resignation to mass shootings.

The topics are  “interesting, [as] rhetoric and reality mix together,” Hall said.

Their next debate will take place at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR, Nov. 13-15.  

PLU’s debate team competes in the British Parliament category. And one month ago, two extremely different teams competed in the same category.

Harvard’s debate team lost to inmates from Eastern New York Correctional Facility in mid-September. The debate was apart of the Bard Prison Initiative run by Bard College that provides college education to inmates, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“I’ve heard lots of disparaging remarks against Harvard. When you lose it shows you’ve met your match,” Hall said.

In looking at this debate it can be seen that hard work pays off for whoever does it.

This debate “shows how important debate is in someone’s life,” Senior Brandon Stanton said.

The process of preparing for a debate is similar regardless of whether teams practice behind bars or classrooms.

The PLU team practices for two hours at a time twice a week  in addition to the outside work that each student does. Practices for the debate team consist of exercises. Much to likes of a sports team, their drills are made up of different aspects that they would face in an official debate.

Debate allows the debaters to “take a step back from their beliefs and advocate for something,” Hall said.

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