At last year?s National Debate Tournament, the Debate Union?s flight was delayed on all four legs of the trip and the team missed the first round of the tournament ? but the debaters still managed to finish 11th in the national rankings.

The team received a total of 64 vouchers for free flights from Vanguard Airlines.

This year, the team elected to drive to the national tournament and was rewarded by winning the national non-policy debate championship and being named one of the top 32 policy debate teams and the fourth debate program in the nation.

?The Rochester team had an incredible year,? junior and policy debater Camber Warren said. ?It really shows what can happen when the whole team pulls together and works as hard as they can.?

The policy team of Warren and Debate Union President and junior Amy Novak was among the top 32 teams nationally.

?Amy and I were thrilled to be one of the top 32 teams in the nation this year,? Warren said.

The topic of debate for the year concerns with the U.S. government should substantially increase foreign aid to Africa.

On the affirmative, the team took the position that a cancellation of debt would suffice, and on the negative, they argued that the United States policies tended towards colonialism, which was unacceptable.

The Debate Union also boasts the national champion non-policy debate team of sophomore Carsten Hoppe and senior Sujata Menjoge, who also debated on the United States? military intervention in Africa. The team won three round-robin rounds and a final match to claim the national championship.

Debate?s novice teams also performed well at the tournament. The team of sophomore Tom Marples and junior Mark Entel had a record of 4-3 in its elimination rounds but did not reach the final rounds.

?The great thing about the Rochester debate program is that we have an open-door policy,? Novak said. ?Anyone who wants to can walk in the door ? with no experience ? and we?ll teach them how to debate and take them to tournaments across the country.?

?What I like most about debate is the community of fun, smart people that you get to meet,? she said. ?Debate changes your life.?

Debators will continue their work over the summer, when selected members will attend a two-week debate camp at the World Debate Institute at the University of Vermont.



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